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.

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.