How to deal with exam stress

If you are currently struggling with post-exam stress and don’t know how to cope with it, this is the right article for you! Trust me, as a seventeen year old girl who is known by her friends as the ‘obsessive over-thinker’ and has recently, (actually about 5 months ago), completed their GCSEs… I know what it’s like! But don’t worry, here are many tips, tricks and advice to get you through exams! You’ll soon realise that it all works out in the end!

Here are 7 short bullet points to help you cope.

AVOID comparing your abilities with your friends:

Sometimes, when revising, people begin to evaluate themselves and their friends – DON’T DO THIS! This will just cause you to unnecessarily stress about work, when there is simply no need. You and your friend have different abilities and capabilities, therefore there is no point in comparing yourself to them when you both have contrasting weaknesses and strong points; just focus on YOUR work. Not theirs.

EAT right:

Research has shown that when you eat unhealthy foods, it can make you feel negative, which can ultimately interfere with your exam preparation. Therefore it is highly important to eat a healthy balanced diet if you want to have the best chances of doing well in your exams. Try eating lean meats, nuts and fruits and avoid too much sugar or heavily processed food. Also, don’t skip meals. If you skip breakfast in the morning, you will not be able to concentrate.

SLEEP well:

The worst thing to do before an exam is go to bed obsessively late. If you yearn to do better in your exams, try and get at least 8 hours sleep. This will conclusively help you concentrate and it will also enable you to feel fresh in the morning, awake and raring to go for the looming exam.

EXERCISE regularly or as much as you can:

It may sound surprising, but it is actually good to take your mind off revision. So maybe, after revising for a bit, go out for a run, go swimming, to the gym – anything to give you a break. Exercise can relieve stress, so if you’re feeling nervous before an exam, do some exercise!

QUIT the bad habits:

Nowadays many people, especially teenagers, are evidently addicted to phones and technology. I know how great they are and I’m constantly on my phone too, but when revising, TURN IT OFF! LEAVE IT IN ANOTHER ROOM! It will help you to focus more as your phone won’t be distracting you by pinging persistently every second!

Take regular breaks during revision. Don’t do solid hours:
Teens believe that the best way to revise is to do 4-5 hours of solid revision. This is wrong. Yes, it may work for some people but it is known that if you take 20 minute breaks after every half an hour or hour, your revision will be more successful and productive. I know this because I remember trying to do 4 hours without breaking and in the end I just gave up because I could not think properly for more than an hour! I then took breaks and it helped me so much!

Still do the things you love:

If you have hobbies and interests, don’t just drop them because of exams! Yes exams are important but you still need to have a life! Therefore, if you have a music concert coming up, go to it! If you have a swimming gala a few days before an exam, take part in it! If your family are going out for a meal, go with them! Obviously still revise as much as you can, but you will feel much better if you continue to socialise and take part in fun aspects of your life. This is one thing I regret as during exams, I didn’t go out with my family, I stopped going to my swim club and I didn’t really socialise. Looking back, I wish I did all these things as I feel like it would make me less stressed and more content.


Exams are stressful but you need to realise that it is not the end of the world if you don’t achieve the grades you were hoping for. As long as you try your best, I am sure your parents will be proud of you no matter what. So good luck, and remember, there’s much more to life than exams! So don’t worry!:)

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