Library - Supporting mental health during exam season | Smart Teachers
Supporting mental health during exam season
Tips and guidance for identifying and managing exam-related stress and anxiety.

Exam season can be a nerve-racking time for many young people, parents, carers and teaching staff. The pressure can have an impact on mental health and be a source of anxiety, so it’s extremely important to promote and support positive mental health and wellbeing.

As well as potentially impacting the academic attainment of young people, exam stress can also affect overall wellbeing of students and those who support them. It’s important to understand how exam-related anxiety can present itself.

Here are some key behaviours to look out for

  • Mood swings and outbursts

  • Becoming more introverted or worrying excessively

  • Finding it hard to concentrate

  • Losing interest in activities you’d normally enjoy

  • Poor sleep patterns

  • Change in appetite

How to help

Whilst some nerves are normal (and often helpful), when they start to get out of control they can be detrimental. There are a number of strategies and tools you can utilise to help minimise the impact of exam stress, including:

  • Taking regular breaks and engaging in enjoyable activities

  • Developing relaxation techniques 

  • Keeping hydrated and focusing on nutrient-dense meals

  • Remembering (and reminding young people) that exams are important, but their results don’t define them

  • Encouraging a good bedtime routine – anxiety can often peak on an evening

  • Planning treats or activities to mark the end of exam season

  • Seeking help from your healthcare provider if anxiety/stress is impacting day-to-day to life

For more information and practical tools to support yourself and young people, visit Young Minds - Staying mentally healthy during exams

back to all libraries

Got a question
for us?

We’re available 7:00am - 6:00pm, Monday to Friday during term time. If you need us urgently outside these times, our on-call phone line is available 24/7

contact us