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The effect of cognitive and relaxation therapy on student’s test anxiety


avatar Mokhtar Arefi 1 , * , avatar Khodamorad Momeni 2 , avatar Farshad Mohsenzadeh 3

1 Dept. of Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah Branch, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Dept. of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

3 Dept. of Counseling Psychology, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

How to Cite: Arefi M, Momeni K, Mohsenzadeh F. The effect of cognitive and relaxation therapy on student’s test anxiety. J Kermanshah Univ Med Sci. 2012;16(2):e78825.


Journal of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences: 16 (2); e78825
Published Online: July 29, 2012
Article Type: Research Article
Received: June 30, 2011
Accepted: November 01, 2011


Background: Test anxiety is one of the major causes of students’ academic failure.  This problem would be more salient for pre-university students as they are highly engaged with university entrance exam. Psychotherapy can be supposed as a desired method of reducing test anxiety for students and their parents. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of cognitive and relaxation therapy in reducing student’s test anxiety.
Methods: Among 90 high school students (45 boys and 45 girls) with high test anxiety level 30 were randomly selected and  randomly assigned to two equal groups of experimental and control ones (each group consisted of 15 subjects). The method of the study was experimental and the research design was pretest-posttest with control group one. Anxiety Inventory (developed by Ghasemzadeh, 1998) was used as the tool for data gathering.
Results: There was no meaningful difference between two therapeutic methods in reducing test anxiety; however, both methods were meaningfully effective in reducing student’s test anxiety. Furthermore, interactional effect of sex and two therapy methods was meaningful. In addition, findings also indicated that there was a gender difference in test anxiety. Females were more intensively experiencing this problem.
Conclusion: Although there is no meaningful difference between cognitive therapy and relaxation method in reducing test anxiety, both methods can significantly reduce test anxiety.



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