How to deal with exam stress

Summer is great but May, June and July represent exam season for many. It can be a stressful time for all age ranges, from primary school learners to their parents. We thought we would compose this quick blog post to help you through the dreaded season.

No matter what age you are or how many exams you have sat, exams are tough. You never feel fully prepared but it’s important to remind yourself at every step of the way that you are doing the best you can.

Tip 1. Make a timetable

Often exams pile up and it’s hard to prioritise revision. Create a study timetable, give yourself time after school/college/work and at weekends to go over each topic. Prioritise topics by exam dates, if you have a maths exam first, make that your first hour of focus. When the maths exam is done, move onto the next.

If you’re dreading a particular exam maybe give yourself a little extra study time to focus on that.

Tip 2. Take it one exam at a time

Don’t get too carried away worrying about an exam that’s weeks away. Focus on your next exam and make that your priority. If you’re constantly worrying about your last exam you will end up forgetting about your current exams.

Tip 3. Ditch your mobile phone

You could argue that your phone has vital resources that you need to revise, but there’s nothing stopping you from printing them off! Hide your phone, sit on it or put it in a drawer whilst you revise to avoid distractions. It’s hard at first but you will soon get used to it and appreciate the silence.

Tip 4. Mock papers rule

The best practice for an exam is to take an exam. At first you can simply do the paper at your own pace but as the exam date drawers closer time yourself. This will allow you to become accustom with your timings for each question.

You can even time yourself on each question. If the question only needs a 1 mark answer, you probably don’t need to write an essay. A rough guide is 1 minute per mark. 

Tip 5. Treat yourself

Don’t over do it! It’s very easy to revise into the early morning but after a few hours your brain will get tired and you will struggle to focus and take in the information. Give yourself a break every 1-2 hours. Allow yourself a 2 minute phone check, a chocolate treat, anything! Just get up and move away from the books for a few minutes. Your brain will thank you.

Tip 6. Be confident 

Keep reminding yourself that you have revised, you have studied and that you can take whatever this exam throws at you! 

7. Don’t overthink

It’s very easy to start worrying about the results of your exams before you have even sat them. The ‘what if I fail’ scenarios start coming to mind. Whatever happens you always have plenty of options! If you don’t achieve all your grades, many courses will often accept you and allow you to resit the exam. Ignore the what ifs and take each exam as it comes!


Always remember, you are doing the best you can! Go into the exam feeling positive and prepared. No one can predict the questions so feel confident in knowing that everyone is in the same situation. 

Revise, sleep well, eat well and stay positive. You are doing the best you can and that’s all that matters!

Good luck!