Stressed Before Tests? Research Shows Tapping Eases Test Anxiety

Written by: Nick Ortner

While it’s normal to experience some degree of stress before and during exams, some people can experience high levels of anxiety in testing situations. This is known as test anxiety. Test anxiety can affect people of all ages, from young children to doctoral candidates to adults taking tests for certifications in their career.

Test anxiety can be extremely distressing, involving feelings of intense pressure to perform well, fear of failure, and self-doubt. Even if you are well-prepared, test anxiety can lead to physical and emotional symptoms that actually interfere with your ability to focus and to do well when it comes time for the test.

For people who struggle with test anxiety, any type of exam or testing situation can become a dreaded experience. But it doesn’t have to be that way! There is a way to feel better, lift some of the pressure, and allow yourself to show up and do your best without the added stress.

Research suggests that Tapping can be an effective tool to reduce test anxiety and increase performance.[1-3] Let’s take a look at that research, and learn how to implement this technique if you are affected by test anxiety.

Research spotlight: Several studies document the benefits of Tapping for test anxiety

Three notable studies have been conducted so far on Tapping and test anxiety.

In 2009, researchers Sezgin and Özcan compared the effects of progressive muscle relaxation and EFT Tapping on test anxiety in high school students. In this randomized controlled trial, 70 students with high levels of test anxiety were divided into two groups; one received instruction on how to do progressive muscle relaxation, and the other was taught EFT Tapping.[1]

The students were then left for two months to practice on their own at home. Before and after the study, the students were evaluated for the intensity of their test anxiety. Test anxiety scores decreased significantly for both groups after the intervention, and the EFT group showed a significantly greater decrease than the progressive muscle relaxation group. What’s more, both groups also had better test scores afterwards![1]

Another 2009 study was conducted on university students with moderate or severe test anxiety. The researchers compared the effects of EFT Tapping to CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and also to a hybrid of EFT and EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing).[2]

The results showed that all three treatment options led to significant reductions in test anxiety levels. But both the hybrid of EFT and EMDR and EFT alone proved to produce results faster than CBT. Participants experienced the same benefits in just two sessions of EFT as they did in five CBT sessions.[2]

And finally, a recent 2020 study explored the effects of EFT on nursing students in Turkey. The results showed that when the students practiced Tapping before a major exam, their anxiety levels went down significantly.[3]

If you are affected by test anxiety, try Tapping!

If you or someone you know struggles with fear, worry, stress, and self-doubt before tests and nothing has been helping, there is another way! 

As we learned above, Tapping has been proven to help reduce test anxiety. The science shows us that Tapping helps to calm down the brain and body, leaving us feeling more relaxed, calm, balanced, and at ease – exactly how we want to feel before an important test or exam.[4-5]

Easy, simple, and effective, Tapping is an ideal tool for transforming your experience with test taking so that it is no longer something you dread. 

And one of the great things about Tapping is that it can help to resolve issues really quickly, so you can experience the benefits after just a few minutes! You can give Tapping a try even in the minutes or hours leading up to an important test and feel the nerves and fears melt away almost immediately.

You can teach it to your kids, too

Maybe you’re not the one who struggles with this kind of anxiety, but it’s your child who gets extremely anxious before quizzes or exams at school. Seeing our children in distress can be so heartbreaking, especially when we don’t feel like we have effective tools to help them!

But don’t worry, if your child has test anxiety or experiences other types of school-related stress or anxiety, Tapping is here to help. The Tapping Solution has worked with a lot of kids in school settings over the years and we have seen amazing results.

Kids pick up this technique really quickly, and it is incredible to see how much calmer they are afterwards when they use Tapping to process and release overwhelming emotions. 

Read this blog post on the power of Tapping to support kids with stress relief for inspiration, and then check out these free resources from the Tapping Solution Foundation if you want to learn more!

Tapping resources for test anxiety support

If you want to support yourself in feeling calm, focused, and ready to take on the challenge of a test with the help of Tapping, we’ve got plenty of resources for you to lean on. 

You can learn how to Tap here, and learn all about the Tapping points here

And be sure to head over to our app, The Tapping Solution App, to check out these guided meditation topics that can do wonders for test anxiety:

  • Test Anxiety Relief
  • Pre-Test Prep
  • Releasing Anxiety
  • Instant Boost of Focus
  • Help Me Stop Worrying
  • Releasing Self-Doubt
  • From Fear and Worry to Peace
  • Big Day Tomorrow Keeping You Up
  • Confidence for Kids

Give it a try, and then let me know how it works for you! I’m excited to hear from you.

Until next time… Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner


  1. Sezgin N & Özcan B. The effect of Progressive Muscular Relaxation and Emotional Freedom Techniques on test anxiety in high school students: A randomized controlled trial. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment. 2009;1:23-29. 
  2. Benor DJ, Ledger K, Toussaint L, Hett G, Zaccaro D. Pilot study of emotional freedom techniques, wholistic hybrid derived from eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and emotional freedom technique, and cognitive behavioral therapy for treatment of test anxiety in university studentsExplore (NY). 2009;5(6):338-340.
  3. İnangil D, Vural PI, Doğan S, Körpe,G. Effectiveness of Music Therapy and Emotional Freedom Technique on Test Anxiety in Turkish Nursing Students: A Randomised Controlled Trial. European Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2020;33(3):101041.
  4. Church D, Yount G, Brooks AJ. The effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry: a randomized controlled trial. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2012;200(10):891-896.
  5. Stapleton P, Crighton G, Sabot D, O’Neill HM. Reexamining the effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry: A randomized controlled trial. Psychol Trauma. 2020;12(8):869-877.

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Over 17 Million Tapping Meditations Played in Our App!
Get Instant Access to our "Releasing Anxiety" and "Sleep Support: Quiet The Racing Mind" Tapping meditations.
Yes, I agree to receive email messages from The Tapping Solution & understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy.