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How To Use Exam Worries As A Positive - A Student Case Study

As exam season starts to bite, often anxiety can rise in our young people. Today’s blog focuses on how hero teachers can support their students by teaching them a technique so that they can use their worries as a positive.

Tia*, a year 11 pupil explains the approach that one of her teachers has taught her following the training from our Future Action RISE Up teacher training course.

Tia’s story

'’I was struggling with anxiety when we returned after Christmas time because I was worried about how I would do in my exams this summer and how that would impact my future.

My teacher saw I was upset one lunch time and sat down to check I was ok. I let out how I was feeling panicky about my exams and my future and it was stressing me out.

Firstly they asked me what I could control about my exams so I started talking about my preparation and how I hadn’t done a lot of revision over the last few months.

My teacher stressed that I should focus on controlling the controllables and explained how I had two choices. I could either fret and fear the future, and get anxious about what was to come or I could focus on creating a plan and taking action.

We then met after school the next day and we created a plan that included:

  • Completing an audit of predicted grades in each subject to recognise how I was doing and what subjects I needed to focus on

  • We were to speak to my subject teachers to explain I was struggling and would like help

  • Trying my best in every single lesson and complete all homework set

  • Creating a revision schedule

  • Requesting & attending catch up sessions

  • Buddying up with a friend who enjoys the subject and could help me if I got stuck

  • Visiting revision websites podcasts like GCSE POD or revision websites such as BBC BiteSize

  • Creating task cards, and taking part in low stakes mini quizzes with my friends to build in retrieval practice

  • Completing a new audit of predicted grades in each subject and celebrate the progress I make

I started to focus on my preparation and by taking action I felt less anxious and more confident straight away. I started with small steps but as I could see myself progressing, my motivation increased and I started to do more and more.

My teacher then taught me the power of three journaling technique to help me be grateful for all that I have, to build my confidence by focusing on what I had achieved that day, and to keep me focused by setting my three wins for the next day. It’s really helped me stay focused as I could see how much I was progressing each week.

This whole process has really helped me feel less anxious and more confident about my upcoming exams. I have improved so much over the last few months and know that I’ve given myself the best chance to be successful in my exams and beyond.

I’m really grateful to have been taught these techniques and now use them in other aspects of my life when I start to feel anxious and worry about other things. Thank you sir.’

* The name of the student has been changed to protect their identity.

The RISE Up Roadmap

We teach using worries as a positive as step five of the rise up roadmap. This is part of our online teacher training course that guides great teachers to help teach their students strategies to reduce their anxiety, build their confidence and create an Early Intervention Mental Wellbeing Programme that has whole school impact within 90 days.

It is ideal for Physical Education teachers, Senior Mental Health leads, RSHE leads, Progress Leaders as well as any member of staff who wants to equip themselves with a range of early intervention skills so that they can make a difference.

This online teacher training course is packed full of editable resources to save teachers precious hours of time planning, so that they can have maximum impact as soon as possible.

Taster resources for you

If you would like to try our taster RISE Up online early intervention programme, fill in this two minute form and we will email your unique login over to you.

You can create complete a three minute audit of your existing provision using the School Wellbeing Scorecard. You will receive a personalised report, identifying the next steps to improve the wellbeing of young people. Click on the image to take the scorecard.


'The RISE Up programme is a course that we would wholeheartedly recommend to colleagues who are looking to introduce a sustainable early intervention mental wellbeing programme to their school.

The training is user friendly and the online resources can be used continually to aid planning of lessons. Our young people and staff have really benefitted from implementing the programme at Sprowston.'

Jonathan Richards, 2nd in PE, Sprowston Community Academy

If you're interested in reading more testimonials from satisfied colleagues and young people, click here.

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