Exams and assessments can often cause some anxiety. Some level of stress can be helpful; it can help increase our motivation to achieve. However too much stress can cause us a lot of anxiety and this increased stress can make everything more difficult to manage . This might lead to changes in our mood and so can then impact negatively on exams and day-to-day life. All of this can lead to problematic anxiety and low mood or depression.

Exam and assessment stress can stop you from doing things that you are normally able to do. For example, you might find it more difficult to stick to your usual sleep or eating routines. Or you might find it difficult to do things that you normally enjoy doing, like meeting up with friends.

 So what can you do?

It may help to acknowledge that you are stressed and anxious and find people to talk to who can support you such as teachers, or family and friends

Keeping things in perspective (from Student Minds)

“Lots of people will tell you this because it’s true – exams aren’t everything. Whatever happens in your exams, you can still be successful in life afterwards. So if you don’t do as well as you’d hoped, try to keep things in perspective.

 Remember that future employers don’t just look at your exam scores. They’re just as interested in your attitude, your transferable skills and how well you’ll get on with other people.

Exam success doesn’t define you as a person. Everyone copes differently in different situations and there’s so much more to your personality than how well you can respond to an exam.

Once you’ve done an exam, try to forget about it. There’s nothing you can do about it and worrying won’t change your mark.”

Think about some practical strategies and review your revision timetable:

  • Are you doing too much?
  • Or too little?
  • Are you struggling to fit in space for revision around other commitments?
  • Do you have regular breaks for food and sleep?
  • Do time you have to relax, e.g. exercise, listen to music, gaming or read?

Practising self-care is really important and balancing study with some time for fun and relaxation is really important as well.

Recognise some of the negative thinking traps that you might experience such as

e.g. “I’m going to fail this exam,” “I’ve always been bad at things like this.”

You can ask yourself what evidence is there to support this thought?

You can change the thoughts by using some positive affirmations/thoughts which can be helpful such as ‘I can do this’

  • ‘I can get through this,’
  • ‘I am capable’
  • ‘I deserve to be successful’
  • ‘It will pass’

(Use any words that you find are encouraging or supportive)

There are lots of different ways to help you with managing your stress such as breathing exercises and grounding techniques – to find out more click here. (Pooky anxiety hacks)

If you have taken the Decider Skills course with our service don’t forget the skills you have learnt such as STOPP, It will pass, 54321 and remember always practise what works for you.

We have lots of helpful information on OYM so please check it out


School and work

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Whatever happens look after yourself and remember to ask for support if needed.