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Self-regulation resources and training to support children’s mental health

Top Tips For Exam Stress

Read these to your children to help battle their stress and anxiety

Their first test can be a very scary experience, those few moments before the teacher tells them to turn over the paper and begin can seem to last an agonisingly long time. Whilst waiting for the test to begin, don’t panic.

Tell them to remember how hard they have worked and that they’ve done everything that’s needed. Get them to spend a moment to relax and get into a calm state of mind so that they’ll be able to focus. Tell them to make sure they are comfortable at their desk and to take a few deep breaths.


After their first exam, they may feel a little nervous, but it’s important to still try and relax their body and mind to get rid of any worries they have so they can truly focus and do their best. Make sure they get into a learning state of mind.


Before the test starts, tell your child to repeat a positive affirmation to themselves in their head

Their brains have worked tremendously hard, but they must try to keep focused. During the test, if their mind starts to wonder, struggle for concentration or just get that dreaded brain-block, a simple breathing exercise can help them clear their thoughts and regain focus.

Rather than wasting lots of time panicking or stuck in a muddle, tell your child it is better to spend a few moments gathering their thoughts so that they are ready to continue with a clear head.


<Did you know that positive thinking can actually help us be better at something? By feeling confident and believing that we can do something, it actually makes it easier for us to do it.

When we imagine ourselves succeeding, we get rid of any feelings of self-doubt that might hold us back. Many top athletes use positive visualisations to help them perform better.

Tell your child positive thinking can lead them to great outcomes.


Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause headaches and mental fogginess. Children are allowed to bring a clear bottle of water into the test, so send them into their exam with water to help fight off dehydration. Do make sure the bottle is clear, with no labels.


Make sure to avoid giving them sugary foods and refined carbohydrates like white bread. These can make their blood sugar levels spike and stop them from being able to concentrate effectively. If the tests are in the afternoon, make sure to give them a healthy snack to keep them full and energised.


Certain foods have been proven to help your brain work more efficiently. For example, blueberries can help improve memory. Add some to their breakfast cereal to help them remember all the hard work and revision they have done.


Tell them not to panic about the time limit, it’s more important that they fully understand what they are being asked to do in the test before they try and answer the questions.


If there is anything they are unsure about during the test, encourage them to ask their teacher for help. They are there to support the children and there is no use struggling with something they are unsure over. Tell them to remain calm and raise their hand.

There are our nine top tips for battling exam stress. There are plenty more ways in our FREE ‘Exam Survival Kit’ and we encourage you all to download it and give it to your children, available here – https://relaxkids.com/product/exam-success-kit/