Coping With Exam Stress

A certain amount of stress helps with motivation and performance, however too much stress can result in a drop in performance, difficulty concentrating and illness.

Tips to help reduce and control your stress levels at exam time:

Keeping it in perspective:

  • Exams are important, however academic exams are not a measure of your worth as a person
  • Negative & unhelpful self-talk can add extra pressure on you. Worrying is exhausting! A lot of what we worry about either never happens or results in a different outcome to what we thought

Eat properly

  • In order to maintain good mental and physical health you must eat healthily.
  • Skipping meals and eating irregularly will not benefit you
  • Limit your intake of caffeine and high sugary foods e.g. coke, coffee, tea, chocolate etc.


  • Your brain is part of your body and deserves a rest
  • Appropriate rest and sleep is essential (8-10 hours is recommended)
  • Staying up late is counterproductive which will hinder your chances during exams


  • Aerobic exercise helps reduce stress, makes us feel good & helps with concentration
  • If you are not involved in regular physical activity, go for a brisk 30 minute walk a day


  • If you cannot cope with stress, don’t keep it to yourself. Talk to someone who can help. Professional help can be accessed through your school (contact Aisling McCarthy). In emergency situations you must contact your G.P.


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