Sport can ease exam stress

One way schoolchildren sitting exams could combat stress is to play more sport. This is according to new research from the Youth Sport and Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative, which found that 79 per cent of children in the north-east believe they study at a greater level after taking part in physical activity.

The investigation included 800 14 and 15-year-olds about to sit their GCSE and mock exams and showed 63 per cent of youngsters feel sport can help them relax when they incorporate it into their revision regime.

Darren Campbell - Olympic gold medal winning sprinter - agreed with the findings.

He said: "If kids aren't revising, then one of the best things for them to be doing is kicking a ball around, or running around outside getting some exercise."

The Youth Sport Trust was established in 1994 by Sir John Beckwith and Duncan Goodhew to benefit young people through sport and physical education.

Dr Nick Baylis, a Well-being Psychologist and Performance Coach, offered a number of last-minute tips for exam students.

He advised: "Before and during the exam, breathe in and out as slowly and gently as you can to help your mind and body stay relaxed (rather than fast shallow breaths). A relaxed mind will think faster and more flexibly.

"Decompress your nerves thoroughly after the exam, so you can relax sufficiently to prepare yourself for the next one. Decompress by doing something emotionally expressive as well as sweat-breakingly physical, such as singing and dancing or a game of sport, for a full hour.

"Your sleep is likely to be more refreshing if you read a cheerful favourite novel for 30 minutes before turning out the light - then ban exam thoughts from your mind, thinking only of your novel instead."