May is almost upon us and for older students that means one thing: tests, tests, tests.

Exam stress is normal. It can even be helpful, giving you extra motivation to work harder and focus on your studies. But too much stress will make it harder to show off your abilities. It can stop you sleeping well, eating well, even working well. Nobody shines while they’re feeling tired and miserable.

That’s why it’s important to have a plan. If you have important tests this year, set yourself a specific time to work and plan what you want to use that time for. Do the work in the time set aside, then stop and relax. Take short breaks. Eat healthily and sleep well. If you find yourself in a rut then stop for a while and do something else to clear your head — like getting some exercise.

Mindfulness exercises can also help. Watch this short film from the BBC about how to manage stress and read our article below to learn how to beat nerves.

For more advice, ask a teacher or parent how you should be preparing for tests. When you feel really worried just remember, as important as this all feels right now, the results of your exam will not define the rest of your life. Try your hardest and good luck!

Read Our Story


The BBC looks at the intense exam season in China in this great assembly script for Key Stage 2.


  1. Create a poster giving exam advice to your fellow students.
  2. Watch this film by Greg and Mitch about how to overcome exam stress.
  3. With a friend, make your own short presentation for your class sharing stress busting tips for your SATs exams.
  4. Make a study timetable for exam season. Make sure you cover all of the important topics, while still having time for breaks and de-stressing activities.