Exam pressure

It is normal to feel worried about exams, especially if you're under pressure from school or family.

Pressure to do well in exams can be overwhelming and affect your mental health.

The pressure can cause you to feel anxious or depressed. It can also affect your physical health, your sleep or eating habits. 

Here are some signs of exam stress:
  • worrying a lot
  • feeling tense
  • headaches and stomach pains
  • not sleeping well
  • irritable
  • losing interest in food or eating more than normal
  • not enjoying activities you used to enjoy
  • being negative  
  • low mood
  • feeling hopeless about the future

If exam pressure is taking over your life, YoungMinds suggest:

  • Let your friends, family and school or college know you are struggling
  • Ask for help. Think about all the practical support you need
  • Try to find a study group or start your own

If you are struggling to cope and need help now visit our Help I'm in Crisis page.

Tips for exam season
  • Be realistic about what you can achieve in a day
  • Take breaks and don’t sacrifice your social life or activities
  • Remember not everyone studies the same way
  • Focus on you and don't compare yourself to others
  • Eat well
    • Eat a healthy diet as shown in the Eatwell Guide
    • Make sure you have eaten before your exam
    • Stay hydrated
  • Sleep well
    • Sleep will improve your thinking and concentration. Aim for 8 to 10 hours sleep a night.
    • Visit the Teen Sleep Hub for tips and videos
  • Get support
If exam stress is taking over and you're struggling to cope, there are some organisations who can support you:

 West Yorkshire Night OWLS  is available 8pm to 8am every day for children, young people, parents and carers across West Yorkshire. Call free on 0800 1488 244 or text on 07984 376 950. Visit the website to use the online chat function www.wynightowls.org.uk

 Kooth is an online counselling and emotional well being platform for children and young people. 10 to 18 year olds can chat one to one with counsellors, access self help articles and connect with peers through live moderated forums.

Child bereavement Uk - logo.pngCall Childline free on 0800 1111

youngminds-logo (1).png  Don't want to talk? Text YM to 85258, the Young Minds Crisis Messenger for free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week support. 

 If you feel that life is not worth living any more, call Papyrus's HopelineUK from 9am to 10pm weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends on 0800 068 41 41 or text 07860039967.

 Whatever you're going through, call free any time, from any phone, on 116 123. They're there for you, whatever your age. You can talk to them about whatever is on your mind, they'll listen. This might include how you look, problems at school or college, how people are treating you, and worries about exams or money.

 Whether you want a quick chat or more focused help, the team is here to help young people with mental health, relationships, work life, school life, depression and any other issues all year round. Call 0808 808 4994 between 4pm and 11pm every day, email them, chat one to one online, sign up for free counselling or text THEMIX on 85258 for free 24 hours a day crisis support.