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Coping with exams – tips for wellbeing and performance

It’s that time of year again, as some of you need no reminding. There are schools with stressful, shouty posters saying 20 DAYS TO GCSEs, which is really hardly necessary – and, in my opinion, could well be detrimental. Most students’ stress levels are perfectly high enough. What students and their parents need is calm, knowledgeable advice and genuinely useful tips. And here I am with just that! One of my areas of expertise is how brains learn best and another is the effect of stress on performance, so I’m well-equipped to help.

The approaching Easter holidays present the important challenge of balancing revision with relaxation. I’ve written and spoken before about the importance of relaxation to learning – we simply don’t perform as well if we push ourselves in an unhealthy way and many young people will be doing this. It’s a core message in my talks for all ages. You’ll hear my podcast about it here. “Relaxation is not a luxury” is the big thing I learnt the hard way, after many years of stress-related illness and under-performance.

So, here are my exam revision resources:

Finally, but most usefully, there is Exam Attack, my guide to sailing through exams. (Now taken down because I’m writing a new and much more extensive version for my publisher. Coming in 2020.)

I wish you all a smooth passage through this year’s exams. It’s not easy – it’s not supposed to be! And it won’t always go brilliantly, even if you’ve done everything right. But there are always more ways to succeed – you don’t just get one shot and if it doesn’t go as you’d hoped there will always be other ways to have a truly successful and fulfilled life. Good luck and go for it – it will soon be behind you!

 

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