Watch: What helps you manage exam stress? | Jigsaw Online

What helps you manage stress?

We asked four Jigsaw Youth Advisory Panel members, some facing their Leaving Cert and some finished, to tell us how they manage exam stress. Watch what they said or read a summary below.


I think an open conversation about it with someone the same age as you is the best way to cope with exam stress

Jen, sixth year student

Advice from Jen

Jen is in sixth year and says she manages the pressure with some self-compassion, reassuring herself “this is the best I can do and if nobody is OK with that, I’ll be OK with that”.

She also finds she can get out of her head by talking to friends who are also going through exams. They understand what it’s like and it’s good to have a reminder that you’re all going through the same thing.

A way to get the pressure off is doing what I love. For me, it's reading and writing. It really helps and refreshes my brain.

Katelynn, 5th year student

Advice from Katelynn

For Katelynn, it is voluntary work that helps her feel grounded and puts her upcoming Leaving Cert exams in perspective. Being in the Order of Malta and doing activities as part of the Jigsaw YAP acts as a reminder that she is capable of other things besides school work, and that exams are only one of the elements that will influence her future. She says doing the things she loves, like reading and writing, helps refresh her brain and leave her energised to return to studying.

Advice from Gráinne

Sixth-year student Gráinne says she can get overwhelmed with all the revision she has to do, but instead of panicking and spending every waking hour studying, she forces herself to keep up her extra-curricular activities like GAA and Scouts. After a couple of hours of scouts or training in the evening, she finds that when she returns to her books she’s in a much calmer state and ready to tackle the revision.

>> Read our guide to managing Leaving Cert Stress.

>> Watch a Jigsaw Clinician talk explain why stress isn’t always a bad thing.