Stress Management

All You Need to Know About Examination Stress in Children

Table of Content

What is examination stress?

I can’t remember what I have studied! 

What is the cut-off to pass?

I need to put in more effort…

You may have heard your child share their nervousness and worry about the exams through these phrases. This feeling that they carry with them through the exam season is what we call examination stress. Although feelings of nervousness, irritation, and more are normal for children to experience during exams, an excessive amount of the same can negatively impact their physical and mental health. 

Is Your Child Dealing With Exam Stress: Symptoms to Watch Out For 

Now that you are aware of what examination stress is, let’s explore the common signs your child may experience during the exam season. A few include-

  • Withdrawing themselves from friends and family
  • Feeling irritated, moody, or overwhelmed
  • Losing appetite or overeating 
  • Having trouble concentrating or making decisions 
  • Struggling to fall asleep or stay awake 
  • Feeling unmotivated or unproductive 
  • Tensed muscles and headaches
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Frequently falling ill
  • Fidgeting, teeth grinding, or nail biting
  • Feeling confused and scared 

Addressing and acknowledging such symptoms is essential. If not, the symptoms may worsen and affect your child’s well-being. 

What are the causes of stress during examinations in children?

As parents, you play a pivotal role in understanding the causes of stress during examinations. There may have been situations in the past where a lack of awareness about the stressors and causes would have led to misunderstandings or conflicts. Not only does this make the situation a lot more stressful for your child, but it also prevents you from being a source of support for them. So let’s understand the causes of examination stress. Common ones include- 

  • Physical and emotional pressure: Injuries, illnesses, headaches, insomnia, loss of appetite, anxiety, panic attacks, and self-harming behavior can be major contributors to examination stress. 
  • Poor studying habits: This may look like last-minute preparation, lack of practice, poor time management skills, and procrastination. 
  • External and internal pressure: High and unrealistic standards held by parents, teachers, and others around results can be stressful, to say the least. For children, meeting these standards becomes their goal as a result of which they feel like falling short is never an option. 

Being aware of the causes leading to exam stress is beneficial, however, being equipped with the proper tools that can help both you and your child tackle this stress is what’s the most important.

Here are the 10 ways parents can help their kids beat exams stress!

Help them

When they are brewing under pressure, it is hard to concentrate on their studies. Just sit alongside them and help them with their studies, which will boost their confidence level. Try not to get busy on your phones and pay active attention. 

Avoid isolation

Most often, parents leave their kids alone in a room while studying. It is a good idea to make them feel at peace and concentrated. However, don't make them sit alone for a longer duration. This detachment can increase the probability of them spiraling down. 

Talk to them

How do you feel now? Does the action plan work? Are you relaxed now? Talk to them and know how they are feeling mentally and physically. This care and support can make them more active and motivated. Balancing this by not being pushy as they deal with the pressures of an upcoming exam can go a long way in helping them feel heard and validated. 

Creating a neat and peaceful study environment 

If they leave their room messy, it's okay. Remember they are already under stress so, don't pressurize them for extra chores. That said though, a clean environment is conducive to study; so helps them organize the space. 

Love and support

To boost their motivation and confidence level, show them your care, love, and support. Make them understand your shoulders are always there to lean on. Also, remind them that their worth is not defined by the results of an examination.

Manage their health

Avoid foods that contain junk, high fat, and high sugar. Fuel their mind and body with lots of green veggies, fruit, nuts, and seeds.

Avoid comparisons

Every teen is different by nature, and so are their interests. Don't compare them with others. It might make them feel worse and will keep them demotivated. Rather appreciate their unique attributes and skills. 

Reduce the usage of gadgets 

Although most resources are now accessed through the internet, creating boundaries on the content consumed and the duration of technology use is essential to help them avoid distractions as they study. 

Let them take a break

Taking a break is crucial to preventing burnout or exhaustion. Your child cannot be surrounded by books throughout the day; let them step out and get a breath of fresh air. This will avoid them from procrastinating, boost their productivity, and help them focus better.  

Find professional help

For some children, seeking professional guidance or assistance may be required. Along with the techniques they practice at home, understanding the underlying conditions and addressing irrational thoughts under a therapist can help them manage their stressors on a long-term basis. 

Further, therapy for the child will also benefit the parents in terms of gaining insight into the child’s concerns and how to approach the situation in a healthier manner. 

Reach Cadabam's Hospitals for betterment; call us @ +91 97414 76476.

Before the next set of examinations that your child has to face, keep these techniques in mind and create a stress-free environment. Both you and your child will greatly benefit from it!


1. Why do students experience exam stress?

There are several factors that lead to exam stress including-

  • Pressure from parents and teachers
  • Unrealistic standards placed by the child on themselves
  • Inadequate preparation 
  • Poor time management

2. How exam stress affects students?

The constant pressure that comes with exams can severely impair a student’s mental and physical functioning. Some common consequences include- 

  • Anxiety
  • Headaches 
  • Insomnia 
  • Poor academic performance 
  • Low self-esteem

3. What are the symptoms associated with exam stress?

Research shows that common symptoms of exam stress include- 

  • Nausea
  • Disturbed sleep 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of concentration 
  • Headaches
  • Panic attacks
  • Helplessness

4. How to give your exams calmly?

Here are a few techniques that can help your child give their exams calmly-

  • Breathing exercises
  • Getting a good night’s sleep 
  • Engaging in positive self-talk 
  • Revising an hour before the exam 

5. How to be stress free before exam?

Our experts suggest the following strategies to make sure your child’s examinations are as stress-free as possible.

  • Practice breathing exercises 
  • Get a good night’s sleep 
  • Have a balanced diet 
  • Develop positive self-talk 
  • Stop studying an hour before your exam

6. What is exam stress?

Being in a constant state of panic and worry before an examination is referred to as exam stress. For most children, the stress associated with exams eventually fades away. However, if this state of worry prolongs it can be harmful for the child’s mental and physical health. 


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