Almost 60% of young people are experiencing concerning levels of exam stress, a new report released by ReachOut reveals today.
The data also shows that one in 10 are suffering from extreme stress relating to exams.
The data was collated in a survey of 1000 young people aged 14-25 and aims to highlight the prevalence of exam-related stress among the cohort of high school and tertiary-aged students.
While the results show an increasing number of students seeking support from each other when stress levels rise, 66% admit they do not pursue external help when they’re not coping.
CEO of ReachOut, Ashley de Silva, believes that young people would benefit from seeking external assistance and having plans in place to manage exam-related stress.
“While some study stress is normal and can help improve performance, it can grow into a major problem. So, whilst trying to get the balance right between studying and self-care can be tricky, it is key to keeping stress at a manageable level,” he said.
The survey revealed that internal pressure to succeed and distress about the future are key drivers of exam stress. 68% of young people said exam stress was induced by an self-generated pressure to succeed and almost 40% said that worrying about finding a job was contributing to this stress.
ReachOut Australia, a free online service accessed by more than 2.4 million people each year, encourages students to access their articles, videos, quizzes and tips to help them cope with exam stress.
Top exam stress tips include dividing tasks into smaller chunks, arranging a comfortable and quiet study space where you know you won’t be distracted and planning relaxing activities such as exercise, movies or cooking with friends.
“We want to remind young people that they’re not alone at exam time and that there are many potential pathways to achieve their future goals,” de Silva added.
“We want to encourage students feeling like their stress is at an unhealthy level and affecting other parts of their life to seek support, and that could be talking to a trusted adult, their GP or visiting ReachOut.com.”
The website also contains information and support for parents and guardians looking to provide the best possible environment for their children or dependents during exam times.
These include offering to set out coping strategies to minimise stress, monitoring their sleep and eating, and looking after one’s own mental and physical wellbeing.