Exam anxiety is a combination of psychological symptoms, including worry, fear, tension, and fear of failure that occur during situations in which you are being evaluated. It is a subtype of anxiety associated with emotions that they intensify when a person is confronted with the examination of their own abilities.
It differs from other forms of anxiety since the main focus is on evaluative situations and it manifests itself most among students of all educational levels. It is commonly referred to in various ways as exam anxiety, academic anxiety, or exam stress, and research indicates that it is present in between 15% and 22% of students.
Test anxiety influences performance due to an adverse effect on attentional control. Also, it varies from individual to individual (age, gender), depending upon the situation, its predictors and thus, exhibit different effects on individuals depending upon the circumstances.
Many researchers have tried to measure exam anxiety, and various measurement tools have been developed. Among these, the Test Anxiety Scale for Children (TASC) is considered the gold standard for measuring test anxiety in children.
Compared to this psychological construct, however, up to now there seems to be a lack of accurate identification of correlates (i.e. elements that vary in step with anxiety) and predictors (i.e. elements whose presence increases the likelihood of anxiety occurring). Some of the core questions, for example, relate to which components are responsible for this problem, how they are related to anxiety, and how much they affect students.
Von Der Embse and colleagues in 2017, through a meta-analysis based on 238 previous research published since 1988, they tried to answer these questions.
In this publication, the authors described the influence of exam anxiety on a variety of tasks to be performed, while also trying to understand demographic variables and interpersonal skills.
Through this meta-analysis, he established these findings:
- Gender. Females are more likely to exhibit higher levels of test anxiety than males.
- Ethnicity. Minority students reported significantly higher levels of test anxiety than their peers.
- Ability. Exam anxiety would tend to decrease as students' skill levels increase.
- Disabilities. Students with diagnoses of ADHD showed higher levels of test anxiety than students without it.
- Test conditions. Test anxiety increases when any test is depicted as being evaluative while anxiety levels lower when tests are presented as activities or learning scenarios.
- Self esteemamong students reduces the text anxiety based on their knowledge and past successes.
- Performance outcomesi.e. stress of typical classroom testing (quizzes, tests), Grade Point Average (GPA) & standardized exams (i.e entry/state test) are predictors of test anxiety.
- Motivationleads to decrease test anxiety among students and helps them to show improved performance.
- Achievement goalsalso greatly influence academic performance and educational attainment.
So the results would indicate that exam anxiety is negatively correlated with a wide range of education-related parameters, including standardized test scores, exam grades, and overall grade average. Self-esteem appears to be a significant and strong predictor of exam anxiety. The perceived difficulty of an exam and the importance attached to it are in turn related to high exam anxiety.
Conclusion: Through this research, the author concluded that magnitude of the relationship of test anxiety across the number of variables is in the small to moderate range. More research is still needed for the development of test anxiety assessment tools that can be used in screening, decision-making, and progress monitoring situations. Such tools can lead to a better understanding of the role of emotions in test performance that will ultimately help educators to improve student outcomes.