It’s that time of year again: exam season. And while it’s true that there’s more to life than passing exams, passing exams is still pretty handy for your future success.

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. 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?

1. Stay healthy. Experts recommend getting regular exercise, fresh air, and enough sleep. Remember, you will perform at your best if you are well-rested! If anxiety is getting the better of you, talk to a friend or an adult about it.

2. Plan ahead. Don’t leave everything until the last minute. Timetable your work in advance, and be sure to give yourself time for regular breaks.

3. Find what works for you. 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.

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Find out how to beat exam stress with this video which includes advice from exam survivors. Do you have any other tips for stressed out young students?


  1. In pairs, share some of your top revision tips.
  2. If you don’t have exams this year, make a video which gives advice to your fellow students on how to stay healthy and stress-free.
  3. If you have exams this year, and you have not already made a revision timetable, start one now. Start by adding the dates of your exams, and work backwards from there. How much do you need to study for each subject? Try colour coding to keep track of your revision time, and remember to include regular breaks.