Hi everyone, I would like to introduce myself. I am an anonymous blogger known as The Nameless Onion.

I have been in foster care since I was six and I live with my amazing foster parents in Warwickshire. I am a high school student and I would like to talk about the pressure of exams on young people today, especially foster children. Only 6% of all foster children go on to make it to a higher education or university. We deserve better as our background makes it that we are more likely to fail because sometimes, schools don’t understand or appreciate what we have been put through. We can help ourselves by talking to our foster carers or our social workers.

According to recent studies, over 75% of all students have experienced stress or anxiety over exams and more than three quarters of students have experienced stress or anxiety about their exams. Exam stress can affect how we, think, feel and behave you might experience different things before, during and after your exams. When feelings of stress become to much to manage this can affect our mental health. Stress can also make existing mental health problems feel harder to cope with.

But what are the signs that you are suffering from exam stress or anxiety due to exams? Signs of this generally include:

  • Problems with concentration and short-term memory
  • Problems with sleeping
  • Feeling irritable and annoyed
  • Feeling generally run down or unwell
  • Anxiety and or depression

Here are some more tips that may help you:

  • Find a supportive study group. If there isn’t one at school, try starting one with friends or with people from you class that you can trust.
  • Make a revision timetable and use it to help you with better focused revision.
  • Work in the way that best suits you and your needs. Be creative if it helps, like drawing diagrams or making something, like a song, that you can use to help with your revision. Try to be open to different types of study and revision, like using flash cards.
  • Revise in the best place for you. For example, in your bedroom or at the library.

Before and on the day of your exam – You could;

  • The night before, get everything you need ready to take with you, all your stationary and your clear water bottle
  • Start your day the best you can. Eat breakfast and make sure you give yourself enough time without rushing.
  • If you’re feeling anxious, try to calm yourself with a breathing exercise.
  • If you feel overwhelmed in the exam, breath in through your nose and count to four, then hold it and count to two, then breath out your mouth and count to seven. If you repeat this, it can slow down your breathing and keep you calm.
  • Take your time and don’t rush. Read the exam questions carefully and think about what you need to do before answering.
  • Remind yourself that it will be over soon. You have done your best and that’s what counts.
  • Remember that your best is 100% of what you can do and you can’t try harder than 100%.

After the exam – How to cope with difficult feelings after your exam;

  • Try not to compare your answers to others. If possible, avoid talking about the exam or looking at answers online.
  • Reward yourself. Think of something you like to do and enjoy doing. You could go out with your friends, play video games or eat your favorite food.
  • Relax before your next exam. The stress of an exam can leave you feeling exhausted.
  • Take a break before you revise again.
  • Carry the experience of this exam into your next one.

Remember, you can only try your best. Each new day is a chance to start again.


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