Date of Award

Fall 8-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Rhonda Bishop

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Vivian Elder


Test anxiety is a phenomenon which has been researched for decades. Student performance, goal attainment, and personal lives are all negatively affected by the multiple factors of test anxiety. This quantitative study was designed to determine if a particular relaxation technique, called sensory activation, could mitigate the symptoms and effects of test anxiety. The Test and Anxiety Examination Measure, developed by Brooks, Alshafei, and Taylor (2015), was used to measure test anxiety levels before and after implementation of the sensory activation relaxation technique. Two research questions guided the study using not only the overall test anxiety score from the Test and Anxiety Examination Measure, but also using the five subscale scores provided within the instrument. After collection and analysis of data, the results for research question one indicated a statistically significant positive difference in mean levels of overall test anxiety. Not only were overall mean test anxiety levels lowered, but findings for research question two showed significant decreases in worry and state anxiety subscale scores. Considering the sensory activation relaxation technique was used during the examination period, it is reasonable to assume its effectiveness would be limited to lowering state anxiety levels rather than trait anxiety levels. Also, results from prompt 10 of the Test and Examination Anxiety Measure (Brooks et al., 2015) indicated the sensory activation relaxation technique could serve as a possible deterrent to the “going blank” problem as described anecdotally by students. Instructors could introduce the sensory activation relaxation technique to their students prior to the first testing event in the course, thus producing the desired outcomes of better test performance and less anxiety.


Copyright 2016