How to deal with exam stress

Feeling overwhelmed? Whatever you're feeling, you’re not alone. Childline is a free, private and confidential service offering support to anyone under 19.

Talk to other young people on our message boardsCreate an anonymous account to email one of our counsellors. Visit our Calm zone for calming activities.

What you can do

There are lots of ways that Childline can help you deal with exam stress.

Talk to other young people

Get support without judgement on the message boards. Share your story, help others or just see how other people have coped.

Use the message boards

Message a counsellor

Childline counsellors are here for whatever you're feeling, whenever you need us. Messages to us are confidential and you can talk about anything.

Send us a message

Try some calming activities

There are lots of ways to feel calmer. It's about finding what works for you. Try some of our breathing exercises, activities, games and videos to help let go of stress.

Visit the Calm zone

Is Childline confidential?

Our confidentiality promise means that we won’t tell other people what you’ve said without your permission. There are only a few times we might need to say something:

  • We believe your life or someone else's life is in danger.
  • You're being hurt by someone in a position of trust who's able to hurt other children, like a teacher, religious leader, sports coach, police officer or doctor.
  • You tell us that you're seriously hurting another person.
  • You tell us about another child who's being hurt and isn't able to tell someone or understand what's happening to them.
  • We're told we have to by law, for example for a court case.

Not sure what all of this means? Get more information on our confidentiality promise or ask one of our counsellors.

Struggling to talk?

It can be hard sharing what’s happening sometimes, but there are a few things that can make it easier.

Take your time

Only share as much as you’re comfortable with. You don’t have to say anything you don’t want to.

Tell us if it’s hard to talk

Not sure where to start? Try making a list of things to ask or telling us that it’s difficult.

Make a plan

Decide the best time to contact us and choose the space you feel safest to do it.

Reward yourself

Plan something nice to do after sending a message or talking to us.

Keep trying

Even if other people haven’t given you a good response, you can still find someone to listen to you. Whether you share what’s happening with us or someone you trust, it can help to get things out.

Exam stress top tips

Exams can be hard to cope with sometimes, but there are lots of things you can do to cope.