I have found that students who are exhibiting extreme exam stress, tend to be putting all of their hopes and dreams into doing well at this one time. If they feel that exams grades are the key to being able to get out of a difficult home life, then the stress they will put upon themselves can be huge and unbearable. In these cases professional counselling can really help to allow them to look at things from a different perspective. Parents you may need to consider the stress that you are giving the teenager and try to rein it in a bit around this time. If your child has had a really traumatic event happen close to exams, let the school know so that it can be taken into account.