Studies, exams and results cause anxiety, said 81% of the 3.79 lakh students who responded to a National Council of Educational Research and Training, or NCERT, survey.

The survey, released on Tuesday, also showed that 45% of the students were not satisfied with their body image and 33% of them complied with peer pressure.

The Manodarpan Cell of the NCERT conducted the survey between January and March among students of 36 states and Union Territories to understand school students’ thoughts on mental health and physical well-being.

The respondents were divided into two groups – the middle stage (Classes 6-8) and the secondary stage ( Classes 9 to 12).

“Decline in satisfaction with personal and school life is seen as students shift from middle to secondary stage,” the survey report noted. “The secondary stage is marked by challenges of an identity crisis, increased sensitivity towards relationships, peer pressure, fear of board examination, anxiety and uncertainty experienced by students for their future admissions, career etc.”

The survey also showed that 45% of students felt tired twice or thrice a week. A total of 34% of them felt tearful, while 27% felt lonely. These feelings were prevalent in students of the secondary stage.

Effects of the pandemic

The surveyors also asked the students questions to gauge the fears, lifestyle changes and challenges in learning due to the coronavirus pandemic.

More than half (51%) of respondents said that they faced difficulties in learning through online mode, while 39% said that they had to deal with technical or network-related problems.

A total of 43% of students said that they experienced mood swings during the pandemic, while 7% said they had been prone to self-harm.

Nearly 18% of students said that their families went through financial difficulties, while 4% of respondents lost their relatives.