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Over two thirds of teachers report that exam anxiety among Y11 students has worsened over the last 2 years

A survey by online tutoring platform MyTutor has found that 49% of teachers feel that their pupils are experiencing higher levels of anxiety compared to two years ago in the lead up to exams.  70% of teachers also reported that anxiety had worsened particularly in Year 11s since the start of the pandemic, rising to 78% among teachers in schools serving disadvantaged pupils.

The survey also asked teachers and school leaders to elaborate on what ​​the most significant damaging factors to pupils’ emotional wellbeing are today. The key factors were all related to how the pandemic response has affected school life, including: slipping grades, not enough parental engagement with learning, and uncertainty around school closures.

Furthermore, respondents highlighted that anxiety is the issue that has worsened the most since the pandemic, closely followed by lack of engagement, poor sleep hygiene and social media addiction.

With some exams now just five weeks away, many young people are using the Easter holidays to revise.  However, MyTutor believes it’s clear that an approach to revision needs to be taken that also safeguards their mental health.  They have published advice for parents on how to support their child during this stressful time, which can be accessed in full here.

The advice includes how to help create a revision timetable, information on the Pomodoro technique which helps balance study and breaks, and information on why it’s important to make sure young people switch off completely sometimes too.

Bertie Hubbard, CEO & Co-Founder of MyTutor, said: 

“It is clear from these survey results that teachers and pupils are more anxious than ever in the lead up to this summer’s exams.  Parents and carers have a key part to play in supporting their children’s mental health at this time and we hope they find the advice we have put together on this useful.

“We strongly believe in the value of the tutoring we offer as our undergraduate tutors have recent experience and remember what it’s like to sit such exams.  We know our tutors will be going out of their way to support their tutees emotionally, as well as academically, at this crucial time.”

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