Exam stress: Don’t panic and ask for help if you need it, says Childline

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ChildLine is reminding teenagers that help is available if they feel anxious or worried about exams.

Last year the ChildLine base in London received 1,202 contacts from children and young people about exam pressure and Belinda Hollows, ChildLine senior supervisor for the East of England said: “The exam period can be a very stressful and anxious time for young people. We hear from lots of young people each year who are anxious, worried or panicking about their exams and revision. We want to let them know that they are not alone and that ChildLine is here to listen to them.”

To help children and young people cope with exams and combat anxiety, ChildLine is offering the following advice for young people to overcome pre-exam nerves and help them if they have any concerns:

> Make sure you take regular breaks from revising and do some exercise

> Go to bed at a reasonable time and try and get some sleep

> Getting a good night’s sleep will help you much more than trying to revise all night – you will just end up very tired the next day

> Try to think positively – even if you don’t feel like it, a positive attitude will help you during your revision

> Take some water into the test with you, if you can. Keeping hydrated by drinking water will help you concentrate.

The ChildLine website has a special ‘Beat exam stress’ section for children and young people to visit. The exam stress web pages were launched in May 2011, receiving almost 10,000 page views; an 830 per cent increase in page views than the monthly average for the rest of the year.

As well as calling ChildLine’s free confidential helpline on 0800 11 11 or visiting www.childline.org.uk, young people can also send emails to trained counsellors or receive support online via one-to-one chat. Children and young people can also share advice and tips on ChildLine’s message boards.

There are also creative tools online to help express feelings and watch videos

ChildLine is also offering the following advice for parents and carers to help ease young people’s exam stress and anxieties during the summer months:

> Don’t place unnecessary pressure on your children to gain certain grades. They may feel they have failed if they don’t achieve what they thought was expected of them

> Encourage children to take regular breaks, eat snacks and exercise

> Help them revise by leaving them the space and time to do so

> Be relaxed about chores or untidiness and understand they might be moody. Allow your children to revise at nights if that’s what works best for them however do make sure that they get enough sleep to keep their energy levels up in the day.

> Be supportive and help alleviate their worries by talking to them.