A person at a computer looking happy

Coping with exam stress

Exams can be a stressful time for anyone. You might feel pressure to perform well, get good grades, and study all the time.

Exam stress is about how you feel before, during, and after the exam. It’s different for everyone.

It can have an impact on how you feel emotionally and physically, and on your thoughts and how you act.

You might feel:

  • worried
  • confused
  • angry
  • embarrassed

Physically, you might:

  • feel sick
  • eat less
  • be tired
  • cry

You might avoid studying, not feel motivated or stop doing things you enjoy.

How to help yourself

To help cope with these feelings:

  • don’t compare yourself to other people – everyone is different
  • talk to someone – your friends probably feel the same way
  • start a study group – you can study with friends and help each other
  • make time to do things you enjoy

Get organised

Take some time to get organised and it can really help you to feel more in control of your revision. You could try and:

  • make a timetable so you can prioritise your work
  • break your revision into manageable chunks

Revision tips

  • Take regular breaks – leave your desk and do something else for a while.
  • Use active revision – make flashcards and test yourself, create mind maps or diagrams to help you remember topics, or time yourself practicing exam questions.
  • Make sure you eat and drink well – your brain and body need to be looked after too.
stress • exams