Teenagers Reporting Exam Stress Up 200%

The number of teenagers suffering from exam stress is increasing substantially, research from ChildLine suggests.

According to the charity, more young people are concerned about their performance in school - with nearly 35,000 calls to the helpline being specifically about the issue.

In the space of 12 months, the number of students who mentioned exam stress in counselling sessions increased by 200% - prompting the charity to release advice for dealing with anxiety before thousands of teenagers begin to take their GCSEs and A-levels.

The NSPCC has warned that when stress about schoolwork is not dealt with, children can have difficulty sleeping, develop depression and eating disorders, or begin to self-harm and suffer from suicidal feelings.

Its chief executive, Peter Wanless, said: "The pressure to do well is being felt by an increasing number of people across the country.

"We hear from lots of young people each year who are anxious, worried or panicking about their exams and revision."

Other calls made to ChildLine involved young people who disliked their current school, were worried about moving to a new one, and students who felt they couldn't cope with the workload.

However, taking frequent breaks from revision to exercise - and going to bed early instead of staying up all night to revise - are two effective techniques for alleviating exam stress.

Keeping hydrated and thinking positively can also help young people to get the most out of their preparations.

"We want to let young people know they are not alone and that ChildLine is here to listen to them," Mr Wanless added.