Test Anxiety and Student Performance

2614 words 11 pages
Test Anxiety and Student Performance

Test anxiety is a real and measureable problem student’s face regardless of their grade or level of academic achievement. Test anxiety can also adversely affect how students participate in and view the learning process long term. This study was designed to examine the effects of test anxiety on high school students specifically, and how the stress associated with the processes or outcomes of standardized testing can negatively impact their performance. There is also a theory that contributing factors of test anxiety can also impact social anxiety. The purpose of this study is to determine if students with determined higher levels of test anxiety perform lower overall on standardized
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Other researchers such as Lee (1999) have created data to explain why students with test anxiety perform poorly when confronted with difficult tasks or situations. According to their theories, test anxiety affects performance by undermining the retrieval of relevant task-related information. During the tests, students suffering from test anxiety are distracted by troublesome thoughts about the outcomes of their performance. These students with high anxiety often possess a limited working memory capacity to help them perform their tasks because a part of the brain is diverted to processing the troublesome thoughts. Lee (1999) stated that studies have shown that individuals with high anxiety, compared to those with low test-anxiety, are unable to use their working memory at the same level of accuracy or efficiency. Based on the above theoretical model, it is clear that some students who experience test anxiety will likely perform more poorly than their counterparts with comparatively lower levels of test anxiety, regardless of their actual knowledge or skills. Children with deficits such as learning disabilities, behavioral disorders and a stressful home environment are even more susceptible to this phenomenon. Musch and Broder (1999) offered both the test anxiety model (as described above) and an alternative theoretical model - the academic skills model -- to account for students'


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