It’s the start of May, and for millions of students around the world, it’s also the start of exam season.

Tests and exams are a normal part of the school year. They help teachers see our progress. They give older students important qualifications. They can even motivate us by giving us something to focus on.

Taking tests also means stress. It is perfectly normal to feel nervous and stressed before an exam. In fact, a little bit of stress can often make for a more focused performance in the test. But when it becomes too much, it can stop you from sleeping or even working well. Nobody is at their best when tired and miserable.

So, how can you beat the stress and achieve your best results?

Start with the tricky stuff. Get it out of the way at the beginning of a session while your mind is fresh.

Take regular breaks. It is difficult to focus for hours on end. Take five minutes at least once an hour to get up and walk around.

Make revision notes. Write down important words on paper in bright colours so they stick in your mind.

Talk! Friends are brilliant for sharing your worries with and cheering you up. If you feel the pressure is getting too much to handle, talk to a trusted adult.

Read Our Story


A useful animation that provides tips for coping with test anxiety.


  1. Take this quiz to find out your learning style. Read some of the advice on the website and make a list of learning techniques that would be most useful for you when preparing for tests at school.
  2. Taking time off while preparing for tests is really important for reducing stress. Make a list of de-stressing activities you could do between working, for instance, playing football or watching a funny film.