**The Isle of Wight County Press is partnering with Christ the King College in Newport to give young reporters the chance to find out what journalism is all about. We hope you enjoy their stories.

With GCSE exams fast approaching, teenagers across the country are experiencing the universal feeling of exam stress.

Despite the familiar feeling of stress, it can express itself depending on the person or situation.

This particular feeling of stress can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a fear of failure, pressure from parents or teachers, a lack of preparation, and many more.

I spoke to a few different individuals about how they see exam stress.

Carys Broome, who currently attends VI Sixth Form, said that "exam stress is the feeling of failure."

While Lilly Valvona, a student at Christ the King College, described exam stress as "overwhelming and really difficult to deal with."

No matter what exam you're taking, whether it's a GCSE or just a simple assessment in class, you can still be affected by stress.

According to 82 per cent of teachers, tests and exams have the biggest impact on pupils' mental health.

My next question was how they dealt with the stress themselves, and while many of them discussed simple ways like performing or listening to music, a couple mentioned how they didn’t handle stress well.

Zoe Gray, who is taking her exams at the IW College, explained how she "tends to procrastinate" and how "students shouldn’t be belittled but instead congratulated for trying".

Xeno Kulla, from Cowes Enterprise College, said: "Like a lot of people my age, I don’t think I really handle it. I live with it, yes, but I don’t cope. I struggle."

This intrigued me, and I went on to talk about their schools and how they aid them with their exam stress.

The answers were mixed, but almost all of them agreed that they didn’t feel comfortable talking to schools or that their schools didn’t support them in that area.

To finish up my interviews, I asked how they would help to minimise exam stress, having been someone who had felt the effects of it themselves.

Xeno said how "In an ideal world, I’d change the way exams are structured; exam stress could be significantly lessened if kids only had to focus on one thing at a time."

And Zoe believed, "It's more about knowing when to contradict those worries and learning your limits."

Lilly suggested a change in the curriculum by "having mental health lessons. It's taught more frequently in schools, but people aren’t able to express their feelings in these lessons."

Carys supported a similar idea by having "teachers stop going on about how if we fail, there's no second chance."

So where does the problem lie? In the pressure that schools place on students to do well? Or does it begin with the exam structure itself?

No matter the cause, exam stress is a serious problem and shouldn’t be ignored or pushed to the side.

Types of stress such as this can be damaging to students and their well-being if left unchecked, so how do we stop it?