Sachin Jain, PhD, NCC and April Rubino, MEd, LPC
Test anxiety causes, effects and interventions have been widely studied. This study seeks to determine the efficacy of a single brief intervention “Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)” to support the ability to shift attention appropriately to achieve optimal levels of both test anxiety and test performance.
The initial sample consisted of 168 undergraduates from three universities in the Inland Northwest USA who were randomly assigned to 3 different groups. Group 1 learned EFT, Group 2 learned Diaphragmatic Breathing (DB), and Group 3 served as a no-treatment control. Participants in the two experimental groups received two 2-hour lessons.
The Sarason Reactions To Tests (RTT), Symptom Assessment -45 Questionnaire (SA-45) and Westside Test Anxiety Scale instruments, as well as a 5-item self-care questionnaire and a request for a qualitative list of individual, test-related concerns, were administered as pre- and post- measures, with a second follow-up at the end of the semester.
Subsequent ANOVAs revealed significant improvements in both the DB and EFT groups on most measures, with gains maintained on follow-up.
Keywords: Test anxiety, students, Diaphragmatic Breathing, EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques
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