Updated 04 November 2015

How teens can cope with exam stress

Exam times are never easy. Are you prepared? Are you panicking? Natural health expert Erika Coertzen gives a few tips on coping with the stress.

Exam stress often takes a punishing toll on teens which may impact negatively on adulthood, according to a top doctor and homeopath.

Dr Erika Coertzen, Health24's Natural Health expert, says calls to help lines usually spike during the school, college and university exam period when learners feel overwhelmed and don’t know who to talk to.

She says this toll on learners and the trauma they experience may impact negatively on future stressful situations.

Read: Beat examination stress

“We know that distress calls from learners at all levels generally spike over the exam period when teens and young adults seek help for coping with exam stress and for depression, anxiety and trauma. Unless they learn to cope at this young age, they may battle with stressful situations as adults.

“They worry about how to study, about failing, about letting their family down and how are they going to cope on the day of the exam,” she says.

Coertzen says various helplines offer telephonic counseling and support, and share practical tips, including how to study, various learning methods, how to draft a timetable, exam tips, what to do on exam days and other coping skills.

Read: Pass the exams with flying colours

In the UK, according to the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), the number of young people seeking exam stress counselling has increased by 200% in recent years.

Coertzen says parents and family members should be vigilant during exam times and have an open line of communication.

Read: What to eat during exams

She says over-the-counter and homeopathic remedies such as Sedatif PC® may assist by providing symptomatic support for stress and anxiety.

Consider the following tips:

- Draft a study plan well in advance

- Be prepared and stay positive

- Don’t be afraid to ask for help

- Don’t bottle up feelings, speak to a teacher, friend, parent or counsellor if overwhelmed

- Get enough sleep – at least eight hours a night.

- Be alert, listen to your body and exercise daily

- Take breaks between study sessions

- Seek relief from the different natural therapies for relieve stress

Read more: 

10 tips for surviving your exams  

More tips on coping with exam stress 

Exam stress- a challenge for the whole family