The impact of expressive writing on test anxiety
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The study attempted to assess whether test anxiety could be successfully managed using an expressive writing or meditation anxiety reduction technique, and whether these results would be maintained one week following the manipulation. Three administrations of the Test Anxiety Inventory were collected one week before, directly after, and one week following the assignment of participants to one of three study test conditions: meditation, expressive writing, and a control (narrative account of the previous day’s events). The students were given a 24-question GRE practice exam to simulate a high-stakes test environment. Repeated measures ANOVA and ANCOVA were performed to test the effectiveness of the intervention. Relationships between GPA, procrastination, test-preparedness, and test anxiety were examined, as were the correlations among depression, worry, and test anxiety. The results of the main and exploratory analyses did not indicate any significant differences across the three conditions. Suggestions for future research include incorporating a more robust version of the treatment, recruiting more participants reporting high anxiety at baseline, and utilizing test conditions in which the participants are more invested.