It’s safe to say that exam season, whether you’re sitting your SATs, GCSEs, or A Levels, can be a stressful and overwhelming time. But your wellbeing should not suffer as a result. We have some tips for keeping yourself healthy and happy during the exam period.

Whilst stress is relatively normal during this period, if you’re struggling to the point that it’s affecting your day-to-day activities, please talk to a trusted adult, teacher, or GP who will be able to direct you to services which can help you. Reaching out and asking for help can make so much difference.

Rest and take breaks

Spending 100% of your waking time on work is not a productive way to revise. Making sure you’re taking regular breaks and getting enough sleep is essential if you want to perform well in your exams.

When revising, you could use the pomodoro technique to ensure you’re taking frequent breaks. This is where you spend 25 minutes working on a focused task, and then you take a five minute break to stretch, grab a snack, and look away from your screen or paper. It can be a useful way to break revision into more manageable chunks and to also make sure your brain gets a break!

Keep active

Make sure you’re getting outdoors for a walk, run, cycle, or game with your mates. Doing things other than revision can take your mind off work as well as giving it a bit of a break and chance to recharge. Sitting at your desk all day will eventually wear you out. Make the most of the improving weather and try and do an hour of exercise each day.

Two friends walking together in the park as a revision break.


Why not spend some of that active time going for a walk with your family, or catch up over a coffee with your friend? You could even revise with a pal to freshen up your revision time. Socialising and making time for friends and family will help you take breaks and calm down after long days of exams and revision.

Eat well and drink lots of water

Eating well and keeping yourself hydrated is so important, especially when you’re working really hard and sitting multiple, intensive exams each week. Plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as making sure you’re eating enough to keep you fuelled, is crucial.

Set goals you can reach

There’s no point trying to aim for unrealistic goals! This will just make you lose motivation for revision. Make sure, if you’re setting them, that your targets are reachable and you’re not setting yourself heaps and heaps of work to sift through each day at the expense of your wellbeing.

At the end of the day, exams aren’t everything and they’re certainly not worth sacrificing your health and wellbeing for. We want to stress that if you are struggling with exam anxiety, reach out to a teacher or even your GP who will be able to help you find ways to manage how you are feeling. You can also get in touch with Childline and The Mix if you really need someone to talk to right now.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by exams, know that it won’t last forever and the outcome of these tests aren’t going to determine the rest of your life. Young Minds have some really helpful information as well about coping with exam stress, which you might want to check out.