Managing Stress

Whether it's cramming for exams or trying to meet a deadline for a final project, stress is a common feeling among students as the end of the school year approaches. 

Alberta Health Services lists some of the reasons students may feel stressed during this time of year:

  • Feelings of being unprepared for exams or final projects

  • Feeling as though they don't understand the material

  • Feeling pressure from parents, teachers, friends and themselves to get a certain grade

  • Thoughts they won't do well

  • Distracted by other things that may prevent them from studying

  • Worrying they won't get into their chosen college, university, or other career choice 


How do our bodies deal with stress?

Did you know that during a stress response, your nervous system tries to protect your body by releasing chemicals like adrenaline that make you feel more alert? This can cause your heart to pound, muscles to tighten, blood pressure to rise, and your breathing to become faster. 

So what should you do if you're feeling stressed?

Ask for help. Find out if there are tutors available to help you study, ask your teachers to help you understand the material during lunch or after class, and find someone who can study with you. 

Before your exam. Be prepared, plan ahead, eat regularly, and drink water. 

During your exam. Pace yourself, start with what you know, slow down and take time to read each question carefully, and breathe. 

After your exam. Celebrate. Let go of the stress you were feeling leading up to the exam and do something you enjoy. 

Tips to help manage exam stress:

  1. Find a style of learning that works for you

    • Do you learn by hearing?

    • Do you learn by seeing?

    • Do you learn by doing?

    • Do you learn by reading?

  2. Have a plan

    • Use a calendar, white board, or wall planner to make a study schedule

    • Plan study time that works best for you (Morning, Afternoon, Evening)

    • Find out what type of exam it is (Multiple Choice, Short Answer, Essay)

    • Gather your study materials

    • Break sections down into smaller pieces of information 

    • Use a timer for each section

    • Limit distractions

    • Find a study space that works for you

 Studying Resources:

Stress Resources:

There are other factors aside from exams and final projects that can contribute to a child's stress. 

Here are some Stress Coping Skills for Everyday from Alberta Health Services:


  • Take time for yourself

  • Express yourself

  • Practice positive thinking

  • Write it out

  • Laugh

  • Set realistic goals


  • Join a club

  • Volunteer

  • Build friendships

  • Share meals

  • Emotional and physical intimacy


  • Go outside

  • Breathe

  • Be active

  • Get a massage

  • Stretch

  • Relax