Coping with examination stress: Resources, strategies, outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This prospective study investigated the role of evaluative anxiety and coping processes as predictors of affective and cognitive adaptational outcomes in a sample of 241 college students preparing for midterm examinations. Data were collected on students' test anxiety and coping resources, conceptualized as antecedent predictor variables, during the semester period. Data on situation-specific coping strategies and state anxiety, serving respectively as mediating and outcomes variables, were collected prior to an important semester exam. Data on students' overall achievement on semester exams, serving as outcome variable, was obtained towards the end of the examination period. A path analysis showed that when controlling for the effects of other variables in the model, coping resurces and emotion-focused coping had a substantial direct effect on students' state anxiety in an evaluative situation. Furthermore, both the Worry and Emotionality components of test anxiety, as a situation-specific trait, were positively predictive of state anxiety in an evaluative situation. Exam performance was directly predicted by both problem-focused coping and the cogntive component of test anxiety. Coping strategies were not found to moderate the effects of coping resources upon affective or cognitive outcomes. The results were discussed in light of coping theory and prior research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-298
Number of pages20
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1995


  • Adaptive Outcomes
  • Coping
  • Coping Resources
  • Coping Strategies
  • Test Anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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