School Archives - Jigsaw

How to stop stressing about exams

It’s not unusual to feel a bit stressed as it comes up to exam time. This can be a good thing sometimes as it motivates us to study. 

For some of us though, exam stress can really interfere with our day-to-day lives and hinder work and concentration levels.

Covid-19 brought about many changes for everyone. Students, in particular, were heavily impacted by the closure of schools and colleges, and this hasn’t helped the last few years.

Girl with head in hands trying to study

A parent’s guide to Leaving Cert stress

It’s a nail-biting time watching your young person prepare for the Leaving Cert. In 2021, students were given the choice between sitting the exam, receiving an accredited grade, or both. Approximately 58% of students chose to sit the exam in some capacity.

2022 sees the Leaving Cert return to a more traditional format, while incorporating more choice for students. This document has the adjusted assessment arrangements for taking state exams in the 2021/22 school year. These adjustments are designed to take account of the disrupted learning experienced by students during the pandemic.

We asked Jigsaw clinicians how they support and advise parents and young people finding it hard to cope with Leaving Cert stress. They suggested the following strategies and tips to support your young person and cheer them up. They also advised how to keep yourself and your home calm during these challenging times.

zoomed in picture of a school desk

Problems at school

Everyone has a different experience of school.

Most students go through some ups and downs throughout the year. Experiencing problems at school is not unusual for many young people.

When difficulties get on top of us, it can be like a domino effect. One domino falls over and all the rest seem to pile up. It’s OK to have mixed feelings about school, as everyone has their good days and bad days. Whether you’re having problems with schoolwork, friends, or fitting in, you are not alone.

Some common problems in school and solutions:

Close up of a container full of pencils

Studying at home

Uncertainty around exams and missing out on experiences has left many young people feeling frustrated. Many students can find themselves procrastinating or losing sight of their end goals.

Take comfort in knowing that learning how to self-direct your study is a skill for life.

Below, find a helpful conversation between Evelyn O’Rourke from RTÉ Radio 1 Drive Time’s Study Hub and Jen Trzeciak, eMental Health Manager at Jigsaw, about ways for students to stay motivated to study in a time of uncertainty around exams and school.

Here are some more strategies to help you stay motivated when studying from home:

An image of a person studying from home