Building Calm & Positive Responses to Exam Pressure: Strategies & Tips

As we get closer to exam season, teens around the country get ready to give a collective groan. Let's face it: no one enjoys an exam. Even if you've studied your socks off and are totally prepared for every question, the whole process is still rife with nerves, anticipation and anxiety. 

Whether you're the one hitting the books or the supportive parent cheering from the sidelines, you know that the tension exams can bring is no joke. Let's take a look at the science, the stats and a fistful of stress relief solutions.

The unavoidable, universal experience - stress 

"Diamonds are formed under pressure, but not everything that's pressed becomes a diamond."

So, exams are around the corner, and the atmosphere's gotten a tad ... intense. Sound about right? Well, the good news is that this isn't unique to you and your family; it's a shared global experience that comes from the natural human instinct of fearing the unknown. 

While some students thrive under pressure, others... don't. In fact, adults are exactly the same. Imagine someone sitting over you with a red pen when tax season rolls around. It's not an easy situation to find yourself in! 

The impact of exam stress

Parents have always known that exams are the most stressful time of year for teens. And now that studies have started to record and report it, we can see just how high the numbers are. 

Anxiety is the norm in schools, with 78% of students reporting mental health challenges over the course of the year, with exams being listed as a major factor.1 And if that wasn't enough, some studies have found that 65% of students have felt “overwhelming anxiety” at least once during the year.2 

Left unchecked, stress quickly snowballs from something manageable to a recipe for poor mental health. So, this exam season, make sure you put things in place to protect your mental wellbeing.  

Strategies to de-stress and succeed

Thankfully, there are plenty of simple yet effective ways to reduce overwhelm. Here are just a few to get you started:

  • Map it out: A clear study plan can be a game-changer. Knowing what's ahead can make things instantly feel more manageable.
  • Pause & breathe: A few minutes of deep breathing can help reset your mind. Check out our blog about how breathing can help and some easy techniques. If you need an extra nudge, BraveFace's Stay Cool Spray and CoolHead, are a natural remedy for stress and nerves, supporting rapid calm and focus.
  • Move a little: A quick walk can help to clear the cobwebs and give you the pick-me-up to get motivated.
  • Talk it out: Sharing your feelings can lighten the load, so talk to your friends, parents, or teachers.
  • Don't skimp on sleep: Rest is every bit as important as food, water and exercise. For those nights when sleep plays hard to get, keep your Let's Dream Drops or HeadRest close at hand. We recently trialled the effect of HeadRest with 62 participants. The results: 94% of trialists found it easier to drift off to sleep!* 
  • Eat smart: Your brain's working hard; fuel it right. Add Good Mood Chews, one of the best stress relief supplements, for a boost of positivity. 

Face your exams head-on with BraveFace

Whether you're gearing up for the challenge or supporting someone who is, remember: you've got this. With preparation, patience and positivity (plus BraveFace's Junior range), the path to success is smoother than ever. 

Ready to kick things off? Shop now.



*Consumer trial with 62 participants using HeadRest over 5 nights - 09/2023.


  • Majority of students experience mental health issues, says NUS survey - The Guardian, 14th December 15

  • ACHA NCHAI II Reference Group Executive Summary, 2019