Exam Stress


A-Z Wellbeing and self-help advice

Coming to university can be a stressful experience, especially around deadlines and exams. Stress can arise when there is an imbalance between demands for our work/social life/extracurricular activities and our perceived ability to cope with these demands. Manageable amounts of stress can help with motivation but when we become overwhelmed from our stress this can be detrimental to our mental health.

Exams are a common point of stress during student life, as they can create feelings of worry and pressure to achieve. Often students will employ unhelpful coping mechanisms, such as procrastination and avoidance because of the stress they are experiencing. This is normal, but an unhelpful way to cope.

It is important to develop a healthy perspective on exams, and you may have heard that “exams are not everything” but it can feel like they are. Stress can lead us to become anxious, leading to us forgetting about our past experiences and how we coped. You have completed and past exams before, university exams and deadlines are the same.

If you do not pass an exam, but meet the re-sit requirements on a module where re-assessment is available, you will be able to re-sit this exam to ensure you pass the module to gain the necessary credits to progress."

What support do we offer? 

Student Services can help you understand the thoughts, feelings and behaviours around your stress, and how to manage these for future exams. If your exams are close, we can offer you advice on what you can do in the time you have and listen to your worries. We would recommend that you try to make the most of the time you have before the exam or hand-in. You may not cover all the content you want to but it would be beneficial to try.  We can also talk to you about other options, such as a leave of absence, and support when you return to university.

"Fail forward" exams resource discussing how failure can help us grow. 

"Be well, Learn well"  how being well and help us thrive in learning. 

Alternative Internal Support

You can access self-help through various University channels such as:

  • ShelfHelp, which has an eBooks that can help you manage your stress.
  • SilverCloud, which provides various modules to work through at your own pace to help understand and manage stress and anxiety.
  • Study Planner, designed by Student Services and the Student Wellbeing Committee.
  • TogetherAll - a safe, online community where people support each other anonymously to improve mental health and wellbeing. (This service will be available until February 2023. After this time we recommend students reach out to SHOUT).

External Support

If you would like to access some self-help materials here are a list of alternative support resources.