Oxford Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Child Exam Stress

Beat School and Exam Stress

Worry about tests and exams such as GCE’s and A-Levels and course work deadlines or school performance can lead children and teenagers experiencing high stress levels and anxiety. There is increasing pressure on young people to perform to their best and achieve good results.

Oxford CBT offers both comprehensive child assessment and subsequent child counselling sessions for a range of school and study related difficulties.

Learn to spot the signs of stress which can affect their ability to engage with both school work and homework:

  • Problems concentrating or paying attention in class and at home
  • Difficult to sleep or sleeping too much, the average teenager requires between 8-10 hours sleep per night
  • Difficulties completing homework
  • Experiencing mood swings with angry outbursts or withdrawing from friends and family
  • Reluctance or refusal to attend school
  • Changes in appetite, eating more than useful or losing their appetite

If a child is trying to cope with mental health difficulties such as anxiety or low mood then added exam stress can be the last straw.

There can be a number of factors which affect a young person’s school work:

  • Social problems – bullying; including both physical and psychological bullying such as exclusion from a friendship group
  • Difficulties with specific teachers, their style may be perceived as critical which leads them to feel stupid if they fail to answer a question correctly
  • Problems linked to learning difficulties such as Dyslexia
  • Problems with attention which can be linked to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Home life and relationship difficulties

When young people find school work difficult they may disengage from the subject, then find it difficult to keep up with the teaching. This can lead them to fall behind with their studies which results in thoughts that they are not good enough or are failing. These self-critical thoughts lead to frustration anger and low mood and the young person may withdraw from hobbies they used to enjoy or from friends and family.


"Talked more, Managed to speak to my parents about it Facing difficulties still Got on very well with therapist- she's lovely "

Sept 2015

If you notice any of the signs described above then contact Oxford CBT for advice or to book an assessment.