Huge increase in children suffering exam stress

Children are increasingly suffering from exam stress, ChildLine has warned Credit: PA

The number of children seeking counselling for exam stress has risen by 200%, children's charity ChildLine has warned.

In total, the helpline received 34,454 calls in 2013/14, with schools and education problems featuring as top concerns.

Where school and education was the young person's main concern, 58% of counselling sessions were specifically about exam stress - up 200% on 2012/13.

As well as exams, not coping with school work, disliking school, truancy, problems with a teacher and worries about a new school also featured.

In addition, there were more than 87,500 visits to ChildLine's website about education issues.

ChildLine's website has also experienced a surge in visits to content about education issues Credit: ChildLine

The NSPCC, which provides the ChildLine service, warned that exam stress can affect sleep, trigger anxiety attacks, depression and eating disorders and can also lead to self-harm and suicidal feelings.

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

NSPCC chief Peter Wanless

The findings come just weeks before pupils across the country begin taking exams, including GCSEs and A-levels.

Here are ChildLine's tips to help young people cope with exams:

  • Take regular breaks from revising and do some exercise

  • Go to bed at a reasonable time and try to get some sleep

  • Getting a good night's sleep will help more than trying to revise all night

  • Try to think positively - as this will help during revision

  • If possible, take water into the test as staying hydrated by drinking water helps with concentration.