The Consequences of Academic Pressure on Students' Mental Health

Jean Linder

As students advance in education, their workload increases year to year. Momentum theory proposes an increase in workload increases performance. A Sci Alert study shows that workload quantity and stress are closely related. In 2021, University and College Union did a workload survey. They found that the workload is becoming unmanageable as time progresses.

The American College Health Association surveyed student stress. They found that stress is the main block to academic success. A report by Frontiers shows academic workload can lead to anxiety and depression. Today academic pressure has become a growing problem among students. Research shows it can lead to serious mental health consequences.

Different forms of academic pressure

Academic pressure is a situation where learners get overwhelmed by education demands. It makes them rush against time. They use more energy to achieve educational goals. Pacific Teen Treatment reports that the pressure can come from different sources. It can come from a lack of finances, expectations, and poor grading systems. The main causes of academic pressure are as follows. 

Excessive assignments

The University of San Diego reports that high schoolers spend 16.8 hours weekly on homework. In a study by Better Sleep Council, 74% of teens say homework causes stress. Excessive assignments tend to cause more academic pressure on girls. In an Edweek online poll, most parents lack time to assist kids with homework. This leaves students alone to handle assignments. 

In a student class, academic competition is very high. The teaching staff places high expectations on learners too. The current education system is grade and performance-based. This puts more pressure on students when handling assignments. The use of writing resources to rewrite essays can help ease off the pressure. Instead of spending too much time writing, a student can use a free essay rewriter. It is a powerful essay rewriting tool that uses AI to generate essays. They are plagiarism free and highly appealing. 

Tough exams

Throughout the school years, students do a variety of exams. In high school, they do exit exams in the final year. Within a few months, they sit for college entrance exams. They do continuous assessment tests and a final exam in college. 

These exams determine if the student will progress to the next phase in education. If they fail, they cannot transition to the next level. A report by Edutopia shows high stake testing causes panic, anxiety, and frustration. Some students feel irritated, have headaches, and have low self-esteem. 

High expectations

A report by New South Wales Education shows realistic expectations are good. They cause students to work harder and improve academic performance. Unrealistic expectations can cause many negative challenges. A student suffers from academic pressure and mental health challenges. The American Psychological Association links perfectionism with depression. A student may experience eating disorders or self-harm. 

The negative impact of academic pressure on student’s mental health

In every phase of education, students are prepared for the next phase. The preparation comes in the form of class lessons, assignments, and exams. Teachers follow a predetermined syllabus which they are expected to complete. They are also expected to prove their productivity through good student grades. Due to this, they put more academic pressure on students. It affects the mental health and academic performance of students. 


The Biomedical and Pharmacology Journal has published a report on academic stress. The report notes that mental health for students has been ignored for many years. Society thought that students were the least affected by stress. Statistics by the departments in various countries show 1 student commits suicide per hour. 1.8% committed suicide after they failed exams. The report cites that India has the highest rate of teenage suicide. The main trigger of suicide is depression caused by academic pressure.  

Stress and anxiety

A Cross River Report shows that 45% of students experience stress daily. The report further says that 61% of teenagers get stressed due to poor grades. These statistics resonate with figures published by the American Institute of Stress. Stress happens when a student has to work on assignments fast and deal with tough demands. This is according to a study by the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Invention. The report notes stress causes poor concentration and academic anxiety. 

Negative mood and eating disorder

The National Institutes of Health report that academic stress causes eating disorders. The report says female students are the most affected by this mental disorder. It climaxes when there are upcoming exams. A report by Scientific Research Publishing shows eating disorders and stress are related. Students experiencing the disorder tend to be moody and are easily irritated. It can affect their relationships and social life. Withdrawn students advance their stress levels to depression. They might start to have suicidal thoughts or commit suicide. 


Mental health and academic performance are interrelated. When a student cannot contain pressure, they begin to burn out. A Gitnux report shows from 5% to 75% of students suffer from Burnout. The report says the main contributor is academic pressure. BioMed Central says academic Burnout is a mental disorder symptom. It is triggered by increasing academic stress and burden. It leads to emotional and physical exhaustion and academic anxiety. An increase in Burnout can cause psychological problems such as depression. 

Strategies for alleviating academic pressures

Academic pressures can be managed and reduce their effects on students. There are different ways of promoting students' mental health in and out of the classroom.

Have a changed mindset

Most students suffer academic pressure and mental health due to attitude. If a learner believes certain subjects are boring, they will hate studying them. A learner needs to believe exams and assignments are good. A fixed mindset prevents a change in attitude and could lead to stress. 

Seek help

Mental health and academic performance go hand in hand. If you suffer from mental disorders, your academic performance will be poor. Do not retrieve and suffer alone if you experience academic pressure. Communicate as much as possible. Talk to a friend, family member, or teacher. Let them know how you are feeling and let them help you overcome it. Another alternative is to get help from professionals such as counselors. Get ways to get help with your academic assignments. 

Check on your sleep patterns

When you have a lot of academic workload to handle, your sleep time can be affected. If it persists for many days, it can have an impact on your mental health. A report by NIH says poor sleep causes mental health disorders. A student might have challenges making decisions or controlling emotions. Poor sleep patterns can cause depression, suicide, and bad behavior. 

Manage time well

Simpli Learn reports that good time management increases confidence. Students who manage their time well are less stressed. The report says they complete their tasks on time and perform well in school. Know your priorities and follow a strict schedule. Have time for exercising and time for socializing. 


The amount of student workload increases as they advance in education. When it becomes unbearable, a student starts to develop stress and depression. Academic pressure can lead to poor academic performance and irritation. Learners get academic anxiety and suffer various mental disorders.

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