Ask Sam letter


To Sam

I just cant deal with exams right now

Hey, Umm I'm not really one for opening up and explaining so sorry for mumble jumbo. Okay well I'm in year eleven and my gases start in a few weeks and I have tried really hard to revise but I just don't have the confidence to succeed and I know how important they are. But lately I have just lost my willpower and I need it and my confidence has dropped loads too. My sibling suffers from autism and it's hard for me to concentrate and although my mum and sister try to help me they have their own lives and responsibilities. Basically, I'm finding it really hard to balance family time,social time,homework and revision. I've tried and tried but its not sticking and it's causing me to lose hope. I'm sorry for rambling, but any advice you could give would be really appreciated.
Ask Sam



Thanks for your letter. I can hear how difficult you found it to write to me but you've done a great job in explaining how you are feeling about your exams. It's really positive that you have been able to take this step of talking about it and asking for help.

Exams can be very stressful and cause people to feel worried, anxious and panicky. There is pressure to do well and to fit a lot of work into what feels like a very small amount of time. 

One way of coping with this is to draw up a revision timetable which covers all the time you have available during the week. You could then separate this time into blocks of half an hour. Within the timetable you then slot in subjects to revise (or your homework subjects) at say half hour or hour slots and build in a break after an hour for a drink or to just stretch your legs. 

It’s also important to build into the timetable some time to spend with your family, time with friends and doing social things that you enjoy. You might find that this helps with concentration because you only have to focus for half an hour to an hour at a time and also helps with balancing the time between family, friends and revision. 

As you work through the timetable you will hopefully start to feel the benefits because you are getting through your work and balancing your time between friends, family and revision. I hope this helps you start to feel more confident and positive.

We have more information about revision and exam stress. We also have a page on building confidence and self-esteem. I hope you find these helpful.

You could also have a look on the message boards to see how other people are coping with revising for exams.

If you would like to talk more, you can contact a ChildLine counsellor by phoning us on 0800 1111, chatting on our 1-2-1 service, or sending an email.

Take care for now,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter