According to the NSPCC website, between 2016/17, the number of counselling sessions on exam stress provided by Childline increased by 11% when compared to the previous 2 years. As well as this, more and more young people are being diagnosed with various mental health conditions that may be explained by heightened levels of stress and anxiety brought on by exams.

Due to changes made to exam specifications within the last few years for both GCSE and A Level examinations, young people are being placed under increasingly overwhelming amounts of pressure by schools, their family and other places to do well- which for some students means reaching an impossibly high standard.

Young people dealing with exam stress have reported to Childline that they are experiencing: • depression and anxiety • panic attacks • low self-esteem • self-harming and suicidal thoughts • worsening of pre-existing mental health conditions.

As well as this, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for the Standard Attainment Tests (SATs) due to take place in the coming weeks for pupils aged seven and eleven to be scrapped. Many pupils and parents alike agree with this, due to the levels of stress placed not only on these young children, but on parents also.

Despite this, education secretary Damian Hinds has claimed that pupils should stop complaining about exams, because though they are ‘inherently stressful’, they are a ‘part of life’. He also claims that he too ‘understands’ the pressure of revision and examination as he still revises for answering questions in the House of Commons.

But, with this in mind, is it still acceptable to place such young students under these great amounts of pressure, making them more susceptible to mental health conditions with the sole explanation that stress is a part of life?