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Do you feel stressed ahead of exams? That’s ok!

June 6, 2022  |  by Jamie Ward

It’s ok to feel stressed during the build up to exams, the right amount of stress helps motivate you, increases your focus and helps you to get your work done. This is what we call “Eustress”.

The problem with stress starts when it becomes prolonged and we experience “Distress” and the negative feelings associated with it, such as feeling overwhelmed. Therefore, it is important to think about how you can support yourself prior to your exam.

1. Make a plan

The first step you can take is simply ensuring that you have plan of action and are prepared. This will help ensure that you continue to feel in control. When it comes to planning your revision, make sure you’re realistic about what you can achieve in a day, an unrealistic plan will add more unnecessary pressure.

2. Take structured breaks

It’s also important that you break your revision time up into chunks and ensure you’re taking regular breaks, you cannot concentrate for hours at a time.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others

Try not to compare yourself to others and focus on yourself. Everyone studies differently and by focusing on yourself instead of others, you will not placing any further pressure on yourself.

4. Take time for self-care

You may feel that while you’re revising, you don’t have time for self-care but it is still so important! Without taking the steps to look after our mental health, by keeping on top of our eating, making sure that we’re sleeping well, taking time to unwind by doing the things we enjoy, or spending time with friends, you will find it harder to revise. It is really important to therefore factor this self-care time into your planning.

Young Minds have lots of tips when it comes to self-care, even for when you’re feeling really stressed. You can find these here: https://www.youngminds.org.uk/young-person/coping-with-life/self-care/

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, there are steps you can take to help you feel calm again. The calm zone on Childline’s website (https://www.childline.org.uk/toolbox/calm-zone/) has plenty of resources and guidance to help you with this.

If you are still finding the build up to exams difficult, let trusted friends and family know if you’re struggling so they can be there to support you.

Remember you are not alone! A lot of your peers will be experiencing the same feelings as you during the exam season.

Did you find this helpful?

We have lots of other resources with useful information and advice on how you can look after and support your mental health and wellbeing.

Go to resources

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