Effect of cognitive restructuring and testwiseness training on test anxiety among newly admitted undergraduate students of Federal University Gusau, Zamfara state, Nigeria


Lukman Adaramaja Sheu


Introduction: Test anxiety is relevant and highly complex issue in academic settings which can produce severe psychic problems and hamper academic achievement.

Purpose: Investigate the effects of cognitive restructuring and testwiseness training on test anxiety among newly admitted undergraduate students of Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State.

Methodology: The study adopted quasi-experimental design employing the non-randomized pre-test, post-test, control group design. This study has three treatment groups and a control group. The treatment groups are Cognitive Restructuring Technique (CRT) group, Testwiseness Training (TT) group, combination of CRT group and TT group. The sample size of the study comprised 200 newly admitted 100 level undergraduate students of Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State, selected using multistage sampling techniques. The selected undergraduate students cut across the four (4) faculties in the University: Education, Humanities, Management and Social Sciences, and Sciences. The instrument used for data collection in the study is Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI). The data collected were analyzed using Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) which is a technique for controlling extraneous variables and reducing within group differences.

Results: The results showed that Cognitive Restructuring Technique (CRT) and Testwiseness Training (TT) were efficacious in the reduction of the test anxiety among newly admitted undergraduate students exposed to the treatments. It was further revealed that combined treatments of CRT and TT were more effective than the single treatments.

Recommendation: Major recommendation is that Cognitive Restructuring Technique and Testwiseness Training should be incorporated by the lecturers of tertiary institution in their instructions to further improve test taking skills of their students in order to improve their performance.


How to Cite
Sheu , L. A. (2022). Effect of cognitive restructuring and testwiseness training on test anxiety among newly admitted undergraduate students of Federal University Gusau, Zamfara state, Nigeria. Journal of Educational Research in Developing Areas, 3(1), 80-89. https://doi.org/10.47434/JEREDA.3.1.2022.80


  1. Akaneme, I.N., & Ngwoke, D.U. (2010). Effect of cognitive restructuring intervention program on achievement orientation of schooling adolescents. JONAED, 6(1) 1-11.
  2. Akinsola, F.E., & Nwajei, D.A. (2013). Test anxiety, depression and academic performance: Assessment and management using relaxation and cognitive restructuring techniques. Scientific Research, 4 (6AI) 18-24.
  3. Alonge, M.F. (2004). Measurement and evaluation in education and Psychology 2nd Edition. Adebayo Printing (Nig.) Ltd.
  4. Anoka, R., Candace B., & Sasha V. (2016). How to overcome Math anxiety. https://www.weber.edu/wsuimases/vetsuywardbound/StudySkills/overcomemathanxiety.pdf
  5. Baxter, D.J. (2010). Cognitive restructuring with anxiety. http://forum.psychlinks.ca/cognitive-behavioure-therapy-cbt/22193-cognitive.restructuring-will.
  6. Cassady, J. C., & Finch, W. H. (2014). Confirming the factor structure of the cognitive test anxiety scale: Comparing the utility of three solutions. Educational Assessment Journal, 19(3), 229-242. Doi: 10.1080/10627197.2014.934604
  7. Cassady, J.C., & Johnson, R.E. (2001). Cognitive test anxiety and academic performance. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 2(7) 270-295.
  8. Chiu, P.Y. (2011). A comparative analysis of reading and writing test-taking strategy used by students with different English proficiency. Published Masters Dissertation, Department of Applied English, Ming Chuan University.
  9. Farooqi, Y. N., Ghanl, R., & Spielberger, C. D. (2012) Gender differ-ences in test anxiety and academic performance of medical students. International Journal of Psychology and behavioural Sciences, 2, 38-43.
  10. Gaikward, M. (2010). Cognitive therapy techniques. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/cognitive-therapy-techniques.html.
  11. Gobre L.O. ,& Osakuade, J.O. (2016). Effects of Testwiseness Training in Mathematics on Adolescent Secondary School Students’ Test Anxiety in Ondo State Nigeria. Journal of Education and Practice, 7 (10), 34-39.
  12. Graham, P. (2005). Jack tizard lecture: Cognitive behaviour therapies for children: Passing fashion or here to stay? Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 10(1) 57-62.
  13. Kassim, M. A., Hanafi, R. M., & Hancock, D. R. (2008). Test anxiety and its consequences on academics performance among university students. Advance in Psychology Research, 53, 75-95.
  14. Kayode, O.G., & Sheu, A. L. (2021). Emotional intelligence and self-concept as determinants of test anxiety among undergraduate students in Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State. Kano Journal of Educational Psychology, 3 (1), 13-19.
  15. Ndirangu, G.W., Muola, J.M., Kithuka M.R. & Nassiuma, D.K. (2009). An investigation of the relationship between test anxiety and academic performance in secondary schools in NYERI District, Kenya. Global Journal of Educational Research, 8 (1&2) 1-7.
  16. Okolo, U.P., & Kolawole, A.S. (2021). Effect of test taking strategies on mathematics test anxiety and performance among Junior Secondary School Students in Bukuru, Nigeria. KIU Journal of Sciences, 7(2), 137-143.
  17. Phakiti, A. (2003). A closer look at the relationship of cognitive and metacognitive strategy use of EFL reading achievement test performance. Language Testing, 20(1), 26-37.
  18. Salman, M.F., Esere, M.O., Omotosho, J.A., Abdullahi, O.E., & Oniyangi, S.O. (2010). Effect of two psychological techniques in improving academic performance of secondary school students in mathematics. Journal of Modern Mathematics and Statistics, 4(3) 96-100.
  19. Saß, H., Wittchen, H.U., Zaudig, M. (1996). Diagnostisches und statistisches Manual Psychischer Sto¨rungen. Hogrefe, Go¨ttingen.
  20. Scharnagl, T.M. (2004). The effects of test-taking on students’ reading achievement. Unpublished P.hD dissertation, Union Institute and University, United States, Ohio.
  21. Spielberger, C.D., & Vagg, P.R. (Eds) (1995). Test anxiety: Theory, assessment, and treatment. Taylor & Francis.
  22. Unachukwu, G.C., & Onwuka, N. (2009). Reducing test phobia among polytechnic student using assertiveness training and systematic desensitization. JONAED 5(1), 124-137.