Banner images shows boy out of focus in the background. He is sat at a table and on the table is a red apple and a metal holder containing coloured pencils

There can be lots of pressure to succeed in exams and sometimes this can feel overwhelming. Unfortunately there is no magic wand to make exams go away, but here are some tips that will help you stay calm, focused and prepared.

Warning signs of exam stress can be... 

  • Struggling to sleep or stay asleep throughout the night 
  • Feeling more tired than usual 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Changes in your appetite 
  • Losing interest in the things you enjoy 
  • Feeling anxious or irritable (snappy/moody) 
  • Migraines/headaches 
  • Struggle to focus 
  • Feeling overwhelmed 
  • Feeling teary and more emotional than usual 

These feelings can make you feel less like yourself, but there are lots of ways to manage them. Below is a short video with hints and tips on combating your exam fear.

YouTube Video by 'BBC Radio 1'

It is important to remember you are not alone and there are lots of people such as family, friends and your teachers who can support you.

You can also speak to your School's link nurse about ANYTHING worrying you. Ask a member of your pastoral care team for more information about drop in sessions at your high school. 


  • Don't compare yourself or compete with your friends 
  • Take regular breaks
  • Ask for help
  • Check in with friends
  • Find or start a study group
  • Get organised / create a timetable 
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Reward yourself!
  • Carry on with activities you enjoy
  • Visualise finishing your exams

The next video shows ideas to help you to create an effective study timetable to meet your needs.

Youtube video by 'The Pocket Mentor'


The video below shows examples of how stress is a normal reaction with ideas of how we can try to manage it.

YouTube Video by 'Brainsmart - BBC'

You can also:

Useful Resources / Websites:

Stress Management - pdf 
5 Ways To Feel Okay - pdf
Anxiety -pdf
Exam Stress 11-18 Years (Mind)

Additional Support

Starting Well ChatHealth
High School Nurse Drop-in
CWP Crisis Line
National Carers Service / Exam Results Helpline - 0800 100 900

As examination season draws closer, keep a look out for any signs that your child might be struggling. It's critical to organise your child's support system for exam week and think through what you will do if they don't get the grade they or you are hoping for.

We have collated information to help you create support for you and your child.

Parents Top Tips

•    Work with your child to find what revision style works for them.
•    Encourage your child to take revision breaks and find a balance between studying and doing things they find enjoyable and relaxing.
•    Make sure they are eating and drinking at regular intervals.
•    Encourage them to take some time after revising to wind down. 
•    Reassure them – reinforce that you are and will be proud of them no matter what happens.
•    Remain positive and hopeful!
•    Plan a treat or an activity together to mark the end of the exams.
•    Set aside one to one time so that they can talk to you about any worries.
•    Let them know their feelings are valid and normal, but also offer support and solutions where possible.
•    Anxiety is often worst at night and this means it is useful to encourage a good bedtime routine.
•    Work with them to develop relaxation techniques.
•    If anxiety and stress start impacting their day-to-day life, seek help from your GP.

Exam Results

•    If your child is happy to show you their results statement, you might find it helpful to have a look, just in case they have misread or misunderstood, or overlooked something.
•    Accept their feelings, whatever they are – disappointment, anger, embarrassment, bravado. Their feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are. Don’t offer immediate judgement, or solutions, or even reassurance – there will be plenty of time for conversations later.
•    Reflect back how they are feeling to show you have understood, for example, “I can see you’re disappointed with the Maths result.”
•    Let them know you love them through highs and lows. Big hugs are good (although probably very embarrassing in public).
•    Show you’re on their side - it could be something small like getting their favourite snack.
•    Give yourself some breathing space and time to reflect.
•    Ask the school to help your child explore any possible next steps, such as re-takes, re-marking or alternative courses.
•    If your child is disappointed with their results, they might also be embarrassed. Agree with your child how they want their results discussed with family and friends, if at all.

Useful links and resource:

Help Your Child Beat Exam Stress (NHS)