Mental Health

5 Tips on Dealing With Exam Stress in Children

exam stress children Posted On
Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

Guest post by Kanika Thakran, she is an SEO consultant at TutorEye.com and a yoga instructor who is passionate about mental health.


Are you or someone you know feeling stressed about exams? If you do, then keep reading this blog and learn everything about stress along with getting some useful tips on handling exam stress in children.

First, let’s start by understanding: What is stress? What can it potentially lead to?

Stress is our body’s reaction to pressures such as mental pressure, physical pressures, and environmental pressures, etc. There are four types of stress that we commonly deal with:

  • Physical stress that comes from pollution, trauma or intense working.
  • Psychological stress that comes from negative feeling comes from sadness, fear jealousy.
  • Psychosocial stress that comes from lack of support or difficult relationships
  • Psychosocial spiritual stress that comes to people in crisis situations when they start to question our culture and the value around it etc.

It has been medically proven that stress leads to the release of specific hormones in our bodies such as cortisol, catecholamine, prolactin, etc. All these hormones in increased levels can cause problems such as diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, skin problems, etc.

But remember that stress is not new. It has been always there from the time of our existence, and it will remain to exist as it is part of our survival mechanism. Stress in moderate quantities is good for us and each one of us is stressed at different levels in our lives. This blog particularly talks about learning to deal with stress-induced by exams in school. 

What are ways of identifying exam stress in children?

exam stress in children

There are many ways from breathing patterns, responses to general questions to eating & sleeping routines that parents can monitor to know whether their child is feeling stressed or not. But friends, teachers can use the following questions to know the mental state of a child:

  1. Current State – You can start by asking “how are they feeling about exams approaching?” If a child is feeling low or under-confident then that’s the time they can speak up and share their fears or worries.
  • Future Outcome – Another way of checking on the stress levels is by asking a question about post exam time. For Example: are you existed to enter the next grade and learn new things? Many times, a yes may indicate that the child is looking forward to learning new things and feels confident about their current knowledge level.

How can parents & teachers support children who are feeling stressed?

exam stress in children
  • Setting an intention and helping students draw a plan to accomplish those intensions is a great way for parents and teachers to support a child and not let them feel stressed about exams.

  • Feeding positive energy time to time can go a long way and help deal with exam related stress eaily. Reminding children of their strengths and telling them that score on an exam is not the goal but rather it is a medium to get feedback. Exams will help us gain understanding of areas where more work is required and areas which are already strong. There is no such thing as failure.
  • Diet is a very critical factor in dealing with increased stress levels and both parents and teachers can play a significant role in helping children maintain a healthy diet during exams and even afterwards. Teachers can educate parents about inculcating healthy eating habits and parents can execute that knowledge at home. Doctors around the globe recommend eating freshly cooked food and fruits, include protein rich food and use MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil in cooking as it is easily digestible oil, managed blood sugar and improves brain power.
  • Exercise is another thing that helps in reducing stress levels. So, in school, teachers can ensure that students are moving and exercising in between classes and at home parents can be the role models for children to following a workout routine. Dancing, Yoga or playing any sport for 30 minutes daily can have long term benefits on both physical & mental fitness levels.
  • On a strategic level, both teachers and parents can teach & train students on the concept of adaptability. It is easy for all of us to fall back into our comfort zones but the more challenges we take in our life, the more adaptability we build which can help us deal with highly stressful situations with ease.

Exam Stress in Children, Takeaway

Stress is not necessarily a bad thing, and one shouldn’t feel bad about feeling stressed. It is normal for all of us to feel stressed in pressure situations, such as exam stress among school students. However, it is critical for us to take care of our mental health and know the tools and techniques available to us for helping ourselves and others in dealing well with stress and come out stronger.


The Classroom: What Are the Causes of Exam Stress?

SGT University: Goodbye Exam Stress – Causes of Exam Stress

Young Minds: Exam Stress

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