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Managing Exam & Assignment Stress: How the University of Brighton’s SSGTs Can Support Your Wellbeing

As exam and assignment submission season approach, it’s natural for students to feel stress and pressure around their studies. At the University of Brighton, we understand the importance of supporting our students not just academically, but also in terms of their mental and emotional wellbeing. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical strategies for managing stress during exam and assignment season, highlighting the support provided by our Student Support and Guidance Tutors (SSGTs) and Personal Academic Tutors (PATs).

What is an SSGT?

Our Student Support and Guidance Tutors (SSGTs) are dedicated to supporting you with any issues that might be impacting your studies, your wellbeing, and your experience with us.

Each academic school has at least one SSGT. They are a great source of information and advice and are available for all students including apprentices and postgraduate research students.

How to Understand Exam and Assignment Stress

Exams and assignments can be a source of anxiety for many students, whether it’s the fear of failure, the pressure to perform well, or the pure amount of studying needed- and that’s natural.

It’s important to acknowledge the signs of stress and take proactive steps to manage it effectively with the help of your SSGT, PAT and other support staff here at the University.

Top Tips for Managing Exam and Assignment Stress

  • Time Management: Create a realistic study schedule to avoid last-minute cramming, and evenly spread your workload.
  • Self-Care: Prioritise self-care activities such as exercise, healthy eating, and a good sleep routine to keep your mind and body functioning.
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation: Practice mindfulness techniques, deep breathing exercises, or meditation to alleviate study-related stress.
  • Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to reach out for support from friends, family, or university resources like the SSGTs, your course leader or other academics.

What our SSGT, Amy Standfast, says:

“My role here at the University of Brighton is to listen to your concerns, find out what is truly going on and how things are affecting you. SSGTs here will talk through your options and may direct you to specialist services across the university as well as the support available locally. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, please do book in an appointment with your school’s SSGT.”

– Amy Standfast, SSGT for the School of Business and Law

Online Resources

“Improving your mental health when you’re studying can feel like a challenge, especially during exam and assignment season. But mental health charity Mind has outlined the 5 ways to wellbeing, which offers some simple steps which you can do every single day.”, says Amy. You can read more about Mind’s 5 Ways of Wellbeing here.

“If you are going through a tough time, you can also access free online support with Togetherall. Whether you’re struggling to sleep, feeling low, stressed or unable to cope, Togetherall can help you get support, take control and feel better. As a University of Brighton student, you will have access to a 24/7 online community and professional support from trained counsellors. Togetherall provides a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings, get creative and learn how to self-manage your mental health and wellbeing.” Amy explained. You can access the support by going to Togetherall and signing up under ‘organisation’ with your university email address

Most members report feeling better and more able to cope with university life as a result of using the service and nearly 90% use Togetherall outside of 9am-5pm.

How SSGTs Can Help When You’re Feeling Stressed

At the University of Brighton, our dedicated Student Support and Guidance Tutors (SSGTs) are here to provide personalised support to students facing challenges during exam and assignment season. Here’s how they can assist you:

  • Listening EarSSGTs are trained to listen empathetically to your concerns and provide a safe space for you to express your thoughts and feelings without judgment.
  • Non-Judgmental Guidance and Advice – Whether you’re struggling with exam anxiety, time management, or personal issues, SSGTs can offer pressure-free practical advice and coping strategies tailored to your individual needs.
  • Confidential – Rest assured that conversations with SSGTs are confidential, ensuring your privacy and trust (exceptions apply when SSGTs are concerned about the safety of yourself or others)
  • Referrals to Resources – If additional support is needed, SSGTs can refer you to a range of university services, including counselling, academic support, or wellbeing workshops.

Make use of your Personal Academic Tutors

To help you make the most out of your time here, you’ll be assigned a personal academic tutor (PAT) at the beginning of your degree. They will provide help and support, such as guiding you through assessment feedback.

Your PAT will be one of the academic staff within your school and will be your support for academic aspects of your degree that aren’t related to the content of individual modules.

PATs work closely with your Student Support and Guidance Tutor (SSGT). Together, they can help you with a range of issues including homesickness and loneliness, problems with accommodation, the transition to Higher Education, stress-related issues and any mitigating circumstances.

Support Available for Summer Retakes

At the University of Brighton, we are committed to providing comprehensive support to students who need to retake modules over the Summer. Through our Summer Skills for Success Programme, we offer tailored assistance to ensure students have the resources and guidance they need to successfully complete their module assignments.

This programme, facilitated by our Student Skills Hub, provides a range of support services at various times throughout the summer, including workshops, one-on-one tutoring, and access to online resources. Additionally, students will receive detailed information about the programme in their results letters, and our administrative team will ensure they are added to a dedicated “Skills to Progress” My Studies area to streamline communication and support.

We also recognise the importance of academic staff availability during this period, and our academics will be working closely with the Student Skills Hub this Summer to coordinate support for students. By offering this assistance to students who need to retake modules, we aim to empower all students to achieve their academic goals and succeed in their studies.

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Ollie Taylor • May 14, 2024


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