Strategies for reducing test anxiety and optimizing exam preparation in German university students: a prevention-oriented pilot project of the University of Würzburg

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Abstract

Test anxiety is a significant problem among university students which is frequently accompanied by a decline in performance and severe psychological problems. Studies of treatment methods of test anxiety were identified using literature searches of the Cochrane Library database of randomized controlled trials. A variety of intervention techniques for the treatment of test anxiety was detected, from which cognitive behavioral methods were found to be most effective for the treatment of test anxiety. According to empirical findings, university students should be taught strategies to cope with the demands and organization of their studies at a very early stage to prevent test anxiety and its concomitants. The University of Würzburg (Germany) started a pilot project in fall 2007 comprising lectures and peer coaching with the aim to optimize learning skills and exam preparation to prevent test anxiety. The evaluation of the present concept showed a high level of acceptance among students.

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