Strategies for tackling exam pressure and stress (STEPS)
Course overview

High levels of exam anxiety can be damaging to the wellbeing and academic achievement of adolescent students. Fortunately, brief and low intensity cognitive behavioural interventions have been shown to be effective in providing adolescent students with the skills to manage their exam anxiety. 

STEPS is a six-session intervention designed to support students who are studying for and taking high-stakes examinations.  This course will equip those working in schools and colleges with the knowledge and background to be able to effectively and confidently lead groups of students through this intervention. 

This eLearning course contains three modules and a range of supplementary materials to enable you to deliver the six STEPS sessions. 

What is the STEPS programme? 

STEPS is a six session intervention for exam anxiety that is designed for students who are studying for and taking high-stakes examinations. It was initially developed in 2011-12 by Professor David Putwain and colleagues. In 2014, it was trialled as a self-help tool with Year 10 and 11 secondary school students aged 14-16 years. Further evaluations took place in 2018 and 2021. These studies demonstrated that successful completion of STEPS was better achieved through delivery in small groups with a facilitator rather than as a self-help tool. As a result the programme was updated to use a facilitator-led approach with the aim of improving completion rate. The materials were then further refined in response to student feedback.

Is this course right for me?

If you are a teacher and part of the teaching staff working in a school or college supporting students who will be undertaking examinations then this course has been designed for you. 

Learning objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  1. Identify which students would likely benefit from intervention for exam anxiety.
  2. Examine the root causes of exam anxiety.
  3. Apply the principles of cognitive behavioural intervention to highly exam-anxious students. 
  4. Deliver the STEPS intervention.
  5. Monitor student progress through the intervention.
  6. Evaluate whether students benefitted from intervention. 
  7. Implement the principles of effective group facilitation. 

This course is available in English only.


This course is £75 (+VAT). 

Payments are made at point of purchase through our secure online booking system. We can invoice your organisation for five or more purchases or if your purchase has a value of more than £250 (please see the section Discounts and invoices below for more information).

You will be granted access to the course and its resources for 12 months from the date of purchase. Extended access can be purchased at the end of the 12 month period.

This course provides approximately 2 hours of learning. You will need to allocate additional time to work through the material for the STEPS sessions before you facilitate the sessions.

In addition to the site policies this course is subject to additional terms and conditions.

Discounts and invoices

Booking on behalf of an organisation?

If you or your colleagues are looking to book onto this course as a group you can make savings by booking ten or more places. To find out more about our packages contact


If your organisation prefers invoicing over online payment that's no problem. We can invoice you for five or more purchases or if your purchase is for more than £250.

Take a look at our guidance to support the process. 

In order to request an invoice please send a Purchase Order to This should include, the course title, names and contact details and BPS Membership status (were applicable) for each participant. We will issue an invoice, once paid your learners will be provided with details of how to access their learning. 

Packages for BPS Accredited education providers

We can arrange special packages for our partners at BPS Accredited education providers so that you can offer further learning to your students and colleagues. Contact to find out more.

You can contact us at with any questions. 

You may also be interested in our other 
courses on BPS Learn, including those related to mental health and wellbeing and your personal development.

You can also explore the range of BPS books available via Routledge.