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Rivington & Blackrod High School

Exam Stress- Parental Support

What can parents do to support their child experiencing exam stress?

Exam stress describes the emotional, physiological, and behavioural responses caused by an imminent test or exam. It can be related to a negative previous experience of exams, poor preparation, worry about failure, or pressure to perform. For children and young people who are generally anxious, the experience of taking exams can be very threatening and could lead to unmanageable increases in anxiety levels.


1. Provide reassurance to minimise the burden of the upcoming exam. Remind your child of past successes and give them the opportunity to say how they are feeling.

2. Support exam preparation by encouraging your child to attend all scheduled revision classes and giving them the opportunity to have a quiet space within the home. To act as a study partner to help embed learning

3. Promote regular exercise to get rid of physical tension. Improved blood flow to the brain can improve your child’s ability to think clearly, learn, concentrate and remember.

4. Encourage relaxation techniques such as controlled breathing (please click on this link: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/podcasts-and-videos/wellbeing-and-sleep-quick-fix-relaxation-exercise ) and mindfulness.

5. Encourage pupils to take care of themselves by eating the right kind of foods, drinking water and getting enough sleep (10:30 pm at the latest). At least 8 hours of sleep is essential as tiredness can impair concentration and increase anxiety.