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Int J Yoga. 2013 Jan;6(1):55-60. doi: 10.4103/0973-6131.105947.

The effect of pranayama on test anxiety and test performance.

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Young Researchers Club, Jahrom Branch, Islamic Azad University, Jahrom, Iran.



In an educational setting, anxiety is often experienced by students when taking a test; which is called 'test anxiety'. This study intends to investigate the effect of doing pranayama on test anxiety and test performance.


The participants consisted of 107 MA students who were randomly assigned to the control and experimental groups. The students of the experimental group practiced pranayama for one full semester. Sarason's (1980) test anxiety scale was given to both the control and experimental groups in the final session, before taking the examination.


After practicing pranayama, only 33% of the participants of the experimental group experienced high test anxiety, while this percentage was nearly twice in the control group (66.7%). Furthermore, the result of the t-test for test anxiety and test performance showed that the students of the experimental group had significantly lower mean test anxiety scores (M = 16.00) as compared to the students of the control group (M = 19.31). Also, the test performance scores of the experimental group were higher when compared with the control group. There was a negative correlation between the final test performance and test anxiety (r = -.204, P < .05).


Pranayama seems to have a significant positive effect on test anxiety and test performance. It could be used as an important technique by students prior to their examinations, to reduce their test anxiety and increase their test performance.


Pranayama; test anxiety; test performance

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