Exam pressure

It is normal to feel a bit worried about exams, especially if you're under pressure from school or family.

Pressure to do well in exams can be overwhelming and affect your mental health.

The pressure can cause you to feel anxious or depressed, and this might affect your sleeping or eating habits. 


Here are some of the signs of exam stress:
  • worry a lot
  • feel tense
  • have headaches and stomach pains
  • not sleep well
  • be irritable
  • lose interest in food or eat more than normal
  • not enjoy activities they previously enjoyed
  • be negative and have a low mood
  • feel hopeless about the future

If you recognise any of these feelings, or are worried that exam pressure is taking over your life, YoungMinds recommend that you do the following:

  1. Let your trusted friends and family know if you are strugglingyoungminds-logo (1).png
  2. Ask for help. Think about all the practical support you need
  3. Try find a study group, or start your own


Things to help you during exam seasons

Eating well

As a teenager, your body is going through many physical changes – changes that need to be supported by a healthy, balanced diet.

By eating a varied and balanced diet as shown in the Eatwell Guide, you should be able to get all the energy and nutrients you need from the food and drink you consume, allowing your body to grow and develop properly.

  1. Don’t skip breakfast
  2. Get your 5 a day
  3. Healthier Snack Ideas
  4. Stay hydrated
Sleeping well

Good sleep will improve your thinking and concentration. You should aim to get between 8 and 10 hours' sleep a night.

Allow half an hour or so to wind down between studying, watching TV or using a computer and going to bed to help you get a good night's sleep.

Be realistic about what you can achieve in a day
Take breaks and don’t sacrifice your social life/activities
Not everyone studies the same way
Focus on you and don't compare yourself to others
If exam stress is taking over and you're struggling to cope, there are some organisations who can support you:


YoungMinds Textline

Text YM to 85258

Provides free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK experiencing a mental health crisis.


Whatever you're going through, you can contact the Samaritans for support.

Opening times: 24/7 

Telephone: 116123



If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, chat online or email about any problem big or small.

Opening times: 9am - midnight, 365 days a year

Telephone: 0800 11 11