5 Tips to Help Your Teenager Survive Exam Stress

With mock exam results coming back, and exams looming, stress levels will be soaring for parents of Junior and Leaving Cert students. Exam stress can be tough on the whole household. Luke Saunders, current teacher and founder of, has 5 tips on how to help your teen survive the exam stress.

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#1 Don’t panic, not yet anyway…

children-pressureGetting mock exam results back is an anxious time for any student, especially those who are struggling with the workload. It is important to remind your child that mock exams are only that, a dress rehearsals for the main event in June.

Most teachers will aim to finish their course by Easter and spend the last term revising. There is still time to turn things around. Let your child know that you are there for them no matter how they do.

#2 Learn from the mocks

Mock exams are a costly business, averaging €100 to get the papers externally assessed. Make sure your child gets full value in your investment by taking the time to analyse their corrected paper.

Students should make a list of all the parts of the exam where they struggled and incorporate them in their study plan.

#3 Look after the basics

One of the simplest ways you can help your child study is providing them with a comfortable, quiet place to study. Make sure your child starts the day with a nutritious breakfast and keep the fridge stocked with healthy snacks.

Try to encourage your child to keep some element of their “normal” life in their weekly routine. Playing sports, as long as it is not too time-consuming, can be a great way to exercise and help them keep some level of normality in their lives.

#4 The internet – study friend and foe

Websites like studyclix have become an integral part of the shift toward e-learning with students having 24/7 access to affordable study resources.

However, smartphones, tablets and laptops also represent the biggest distraction to study, your teenager will face. While “studying” a typical student could be conversing via text on their phone, instant messaging on their laptop and all while checking their friend’s status on Facebook!

While there is little point in asking your teen to disconnect you could try and use access to social media as a reward for study done.

Websites like minutesplease allow students to set a time limit so that a pop-up alert appears when their allocated time is done.

#5 Keep an eye out for the signs of stress

Studying for the Junior and Leaving cert exams, for many, will be the most stressful year of one’s life. As a parent, it’s important you look out for sypmtons of stress or burnout.

Keep an eye out for behaviour changes where your teenager becomes disinterested in activities that he/she previously liked. Watch out for big changes in eating or sleeping patterns and make sure your teenager always has someone they can talk to about their feelings.

More information can be found at

Related: How to help with homework and Help reduce Junior/Leaving Cert exam stress

Do you have any tips for parents of teens who are embarking on exams?  Share them with us in the comments below.

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Jennifer, our Editor, has 1 son and admits to munching a Cadbury’s Turkish Delight now and again.