Get ready, because it’s that time of year again: exam season.

Exams are a normal part of life. And while people sometimes say, “There’s more to life than passing exams”, passing exams is still pretty handy.

But do we place too much emphasis on getting top grades?

In 2018, the new GCSEs sparked concerns after pupils experienced unusually high levels of anxiety. Children suffered from panic attacks and breakdowns, and critics called for reforms. The Department for Education maintained that rigorous tests are vital for success, but also advised looking after your mental wellbeing.

So, how can you avoid crushing exam anxiety whilst still aiming for the best results you can achieve? Experts recommend getting regular exercise, fresh air and enough sleep. You can only perform at your best if you are well-rested, so it is not worth pulling any revision all-nighters!

On that subject: revision works when you take regular breaks, timetable your work in advance, and tailor your notes to the kind of learner you are. For example, visual learners might respond well to mind maps, while others like to record their notes and listen back to them. If you are unsure, try a few methods.

Above all: good luck!

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Crash Course has more tips for beating exam anxiety.


  1. In pairs, each write five tips for revision and compare your suggestions.
  2. Debate: This house believes that exams should be abolished.
  3. If you have exams this year, and you have not already made a revision timetable, start one now. Remember to include regular breaks.