Slaying the Beast: Tips for Coping with Exam Stress

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For any student in school, mentioning the word exam conjures up uncomfortable, anxious feelings. Exams are the bane to any student’s existence. They have the power to make anyone feel unsure and frazzled. Exam stress is real, all students deal with it, but for some it can become overwhelming. Some think partying, self-medication, and neglect will get rid of the stress, but that only feeds the beast and spurs on further damage. To slay it, your child has to learn to cope with exam stress in healthy and effective ways, which you can lead them to.

exam stress

Photo Credit: flickr user – Alberto G

Preventing exam stress

Helping your teen learn to cope with their exam stress is extremely important. Exams fill young-adults’ lives, making it imperative to know how to deal with them. Not coping with exam stress can lead to further harm, such as depression, intense feelings of failure, and suicidal thoughts. Here are some healthy ways to your teen can drive away the beast:

  1. Don’t Add to the Pressure. A lot of teens say they have so much exam stress because they don’t want to disappoint their parents. This is understandable, but for those struggling with stress it can be crippling. Making sure your teen knows that it’s not the end of the world if they don’t get an outstanding score can help relieve some of the exam stress they’re feeling.
  2. Study, but Don’t Study Too Much. Developing a study technique that works for you is great, but don’t overdo it! Studying until the crack of dawn can actually do more harm than good. Helping your child set studying boundaries for themselves can be beneficial to dealing with exam stress.
  3. Don’t Ignore Food and Sleep. Food is fuel for our bodies, sleep is fuel for the brain, both keep us going. If we ignore one or both of these, we start to mess up. Having a full belly and 8 hours of rest can do wonders for test scores. Informing your teen of the benefits of both of these can motivate them to stay healthy themselves without you having to enforce it.
  4. RELAX. This exam isn’t everything, it doesn’t doom their future if they don’t get a perfect score. It’s important to help your teen understand this. Inspiring your teen to find their relaxation technique (running, hiking, reading, etc.) can really help them cope with exam stress. When staring at a dull textbook becomes too much, having an escape can be remarkably helpful.

Trails Carolina is here to help

If your child’s exam stress has become unmanageable and regular methods aren’t doing the trick, Trails Carolina may be able to help. We specialize in helping teens (ages 10-17) cope with their issues, including anxiety, depression, and many more. 

For more info about how Trails can help with exam stress, please call 800-975-7303.


Graham Shannonhouse

All stories by: Graham Shannonhouse