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Exam Results Stress

Exam results stress

If worrying about the exam results is freaking you then check out these tips for reducing stress.

Waiting for exam results is a nerve racking experience – especially when you are expecting important results from exams such as the Leaving Cert or College finals. The exams are over and worrying about them will not help you. You might feel nervous and stressed leading up to results day, however this is a normal experience and a little bit of stress can actually help you get motivated for dealing with problems and pressure. It’s suffering from too much stress that causes problems.


Feeling stressed out?

If you think you’re suffering from too much stress or anxiety, check through these symptoms:

  • Physical stuff like headaches, indigestion, sweaty hands, high blood pressure, dizziness, breathing heavily, feeling faint, sweating or a sudden change in your eating habits.
  • Maybe you start smoking or drinking more, eating too much or not eating enough, fidgeting or rushing around nervously.
  • You might also feel run down, tired, have problems concentrating or problems sleeping at night.
  • You might think that you’re going mad; feel worried all the time or feel cut off from reality.
  • If these symptoms sound like you or a friend, then you need to work out the best way to stop stressing.


What can you do about it?

You need to confront the problem and learn how to relax. It’s really important not to let anxiety take over your life. Try to figure out what’s causing the stress and do something about it.

Remember, if you fail an exam you are not a failure - you are still a good person, just a good person who failed an exam. Usually exam failure only means you have to repeat, so there's a delay of plans, not the end of the world. Or it may lead you to changing your plans to something you are actually more suited to.

If stress is caused by a situation you can’t control (such as bullying or a family problem) talk to an adult you trust or a doctor. It might also help to talk to your friends and see if they’re going through the same problems.


Tips to reduce stress:

  • Recognise the signs of stress mentioned above (talk to a doctor if you’re not sure what’s wrong with you).
  • Have at least one good friend you can confide in.
  • Express yourself through writing, sport, art, music, fashion, etc. (It’s a great way to relieve tension).
  • Handle life’s challenges one day at a time (Don’t spend all your time worrying about ‘tomorrow’).
  • Know and accept your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Strive to change the source of stress and/or your reaction to it.
  • Remember: alcohol won’t reduce stress it will only make things worse.

Some people find the best way to deal with stress is through personal strength, Clint Eastwood once said: "Strength is to hold it together when everyone would understand it if you fell apart".

Or in the wise words of a Chinese proverb: "Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you really are".


What causes exam results stress?

There are lots of reasons to feel stressed around results time, including:

  • The pressure to get good results for the course or career you want.
  • Pressure from parents and family who expect you to get good results.
  • Worrying about the future and whether you’ll make the right choices for the year ahead.
  • You might feel overwhelmed by changes such as leaving home, starting a new life, friends moving away or maybe you’re worrying that others are changing whilst you stay the same.

These feelings are normal. Your friends are probably feeling the same way so talk to them about your worries. There’s lots of info on how to relax in the Chill Out section.

If exam results stress is getting you down, you can talk to your doctor and ask him/her to refer you to a counsellor

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