Thousands of young people across Sussex are no doubt frantically revising ahead of sitting their GCSE or A-Level exams this summer.
But while nerves are to be expected, it can also cause crippling anxiety and stress, leaving some young people unable to eat, sleep or function normally let alone revise.
In some cases the pressure to succeed can even contribute to mental health issues or suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Every year the NSPCC’s Childline service receives thousands of calls from young people who are struggling to cope during the exam period.
Not wanting to disappoint their parents, fear of failure and the general pressures linked to academic achievement are just some of the reasons why they pick up the phone to speak to one of Childline’s specially trained counsellors.
Childline is there 24/7 for any young person needing confidential support and advice, but it is also vital they are supported by family, friends and teachers during this intense and difficult period to help them do the best they can.
To help young people cope with exam stress, the NSPCC’s Childline service has the following advice:
* Make sure you take regular breaks from revising and do some exercise.
* Go to bed at a reasonable time and get a good night’s sleep.
* Try not to revise all night – you will just end up very tired the next day.
* Try to think positively – even if you don’t feel like it, a positive attitude will help you during your revision.
* Take some water into the test with you, if you can. Keeping hydrated by drinking water will help you concentrate.
* If you feel that you can’t cope with the pressure or are feeling stressed, find someone to talk to.
* Remember, there’s life beyond exam results. Disappointing grades are not the end of the world, even if it feels that way at the time. You might decide to re-sit, and in any case, there will be lots of other opportunities to express yourself and succeed later on in life.
A series of videos dedicated to helping young people through exams are available on Childline’s YouTube channel.
Free confidential advice is available by calling Childline on 0800 11 11 or visiting www.childline.org.uk
Young people can also send emails to trained counsellors or receive support online via one-to-one chat.