MANAGING TEST ANXIETY AMONG
Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Education, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Deemed University, Dayalbagh, Agra
anxiety is experienced by each one of us in our life. Sometimes it gives us
direction to perform better but sometimes deteriorate our performance. It is an emotional reaction towards evaluative tasks that
are perceived as threatening. It is anxiety, expressed towards examination
because the victim as aversive perceives them. Examination is a source of
inordinate stress, which can lead to medical troubles and can reduce the
efficiency of performance
Aim:The present research focuses on the study of
effectiveness of intervention program in overcoming test anxiety.
data was collected on 300 secondary school students and among them, students who scored high on Test Anxiety Scale were
selected. 100 subjects were randomly selected from 140 students who scored high
on Test Anxiety Scale. Thus, the final sample consisted of 100 secondary school
students. Pre and post test scores of Test Anxiety was collected with the help
of Test Anxiety Scale developed by Sharma (1978).‘t’test was applied to study the difference
between pre test scores and post test scores of teachers freezing.
Result:Results showed that mean score
is 106.8 and 69.48 for pre intervention and post intervention respectively. t value is 4.50 that is significant at
Conclusion: It can be concluded
that intervention program is effective in decreasing Test Anxiety.
Key Words: Anxiety,Adolescents
Anxiety is a common phenomenon of everyday life.
It plays a crucial role in human life because all of us are the victims of
anxiety in different ways. We all are living in the age of Anxiety in this
country. The term anxiety generally means ‘a state of emotional and physical
disturbance induced in a person by a real or imaginary threat.’ It is a failure
to meet a standard, or fear that one does not hold the appropriate standard.
Psychologists believe that some anxiety is essential because it helps us to be
alert and gives us motivation to deal with our problems. But it has also been
observed that high levels of anxiety may block recall ability and expression of
individual’s potentials. Anxiety is a
chronic complex emotional state with apprehension or dread as its most
prominent component, characteristic of various mental and nervous disorders.
Test anxiety is an emotional reaction towards
evaluative tasks that are perceived as threatening. It is anxiety, expressed
towards examination because the victim as aversive perceives them. Examination
is a source of inordinate stress, which can lead to medical troubles and can
reduce the efficiency of performance. Test Anxiety (TA) refers to the distress
one experience when being evaluated or when thinking about prospective
evaluations, which typically lead to reduced performances. Test Anxiety affects
all of us and it is perfectly natural to experience it. In today’s world it has
become part of studies1 Like other
situations in which a person might feel performance anxiety, test anxiety can
bring on "butterflies," a stomachache, or a tension headache. Some
people might feel shaky, sweaty, or feel their heart beating quickly as they
wait for the test to be given out. A student with really strong test anxiety
may even feel like he or she might pass out or throw up. The behavioral signs
are irritability, passivity 2, loss of
concentration depression, change in appetite, palpitation and various other
of Test Anxiety4
Chery explain two
causes of test anxiety. She also stated that for many students, it can be a
combination of things. Bad study habits, poor past test performance and an
underlying anxiety problem can all contribute to test anxiety.
Biological Causes of Test Anxiety
In stressful situations, such
as before and during an exam, the body releases a hormone called adrenaline.
This helps prepare the body to deal with what is about to happen and is commonly
referred to as the "fight-or-flight" response. Essentially, this
response prepares you to either stay and deal with the stress or escape the
situation entirely. In a lot of cases, this adrenaline rush is actually a good
thing. It helps prepare you to deal effectively with stressful situations,
ensuring that you are alert and ready. For some people, however, the symptoms
of anxiety they feel can become so excessive that it makes it difficult or even
impossible to focus on the test. Symptoms such as nausea, sweating and shaking
hands can actually make people feel even more nervous, especially if they
become preoccupied with test anxiety symptoms.
Causes of Test Anxiety
In addition to the underlying
biological causes on anxiety, there are many mental factors that can play a
role in test anxiety. Student expectations are one major mental factor. For
example, if a student believes that she will perform poorly on an exam, she is
far more likely to become anxious before and during a test. Test anxiety can
also become a vicious cycle. After experiencing anxiety during one exam,
students may become so fearful about it happening again that they actually
become even more anxious during the next exam. After repeatedly enduring test
anxiety, students may begin to feel helpless to change their situation.
Effectiveness of intervention programs in
overcoming Test Anxiety.
Intervention programs are effective in
overcoming test anxiety.
Initially sample consisted of 300
secondary school students and among them, students who scored high on Test
Anxiety Scale were selected. 100 subjects were randomly selected from 140
students who scored high on Test AnxietyScale. Thus,
the final sample consisted of 100 secondary school students. Subjects were
matched in terms of age, sex and education qualification. Subjects having any
psychological and physiological disorder were excluded from the sample.
Test Anxiety Scale by Sharma 5 was used to measure
test anxiety. The present test has 25 items, which describe the experience of
anxiety. The reliability by test retest method after an interval of 10 days was
found .927 and the internal consistency reliability was ascertained by adopting
Split Half method using Spearman Brown Formula and found .87. For finding the
predictive validity two external criteria were employed and these are (i) Teacher’s Rating r
= .768 (ii) Internal Marks r= .743.
Investigator met each
subject personally. Rapport was established with the subjects. All the respondents
were asked to fill up the Sharma’s Test Anxiety Scale. They were assured that
their responses would be kept confidential. The scoring was done with the help
of manual. The intervention program focused on the five aspects. These aspects
are borrowed from the steps to reducing exam anxiety by Dickson, K. (2012). These are as follows:
1-Give yourself practice tests and use
them not only to work on your test-taking but also to practice controlling your
anxiety level. Deliberately induce anxiety by saying negative things to
yourself and then practice the Anxiety Control Procedure. If you're afraid of
not being able to finish the exam in time, do timed sets of practice
means Don't cram the night before the exam: (too much
material) + (too little time) = Anxiety.
One must plan studying with regularly scheduled study sessions about 50
minutes long separated by 5-10 minute breaks.
3-Get to the test site a little early, but try to
avoid talking with other students right before the exam. (Their anxieties may
increase your own.) Instead, take a walk around the building and silently talk
to yourself or pray. Moving your body can help rid you of some of the nervous
energy you are experiencing.
4-Breathe in slowly: to the count of seven and
exhale to the count of seven. Continue this slow breathing until you actually
feel your body begin to relax. This whole procedure should take only about a
minute and it's well worth the time. Stay relaxed, if
you begin to get nervous take a few deep breaths slowly to relax yourself and
then get back to work.
5-Simple Tricks: Do the simple questions first to help build up
your confidence for the harder questions. Write down important formulas, facts,
definitions and/or keywords in the margin first so you won't worry about
Results and Discussion
To find the significance
of difference between pre intervention test anxiety scores and post test
anxiety scores ‘t’
test was applied. It is shown in Result Table 1 that t value for test anxiety score is 4.50 that is
significant at .01 level. It shows that there is significant difference between
the pre and post intervention test anxiety scores. The mean score for pre
intervention test anxiety is 106.8 that has been
reduced to 69.48 in post intervention scores. It shows that as the result of
intervention program the test anxiety has been decreased.
Result Table 1:
Showing Pre and Post Intervention Test Anxiety Scores
**=Significant at .01 level.
The mean score in pre intervention
session depicts that students were suffering from high test anxiety but the
intervention program was continued to be given to all the subjects carefully.
Later again the test anxiety of the students was measured and this time the
researcher found a decrease in test anxiety of the students. The hypothesis
that Intervention program is effective in overcoming test anxiety is accepted.
Anxiety becomes a problem when it begins to interfere with a student's ability
to think logically or remember facts. Physical symptoms of real test anxiety
include tense muscles, sweaty palms, a pounding heart, and feeling faint or
nauseous. Cognitive symptoms include the inability to remember simple things,
illogical thinking, and mental blocks.In dealing with
test anxiety one needs to deal with both the physical symptoms and the
cognitive or mental aspects of test anxiety. Psychologists recommend certain
techniques that have proven to be extremely successful if practiced and used
correctly. The key is that these techniques must be practiced ahead of time to
really work. There is no magic cure for test anxiety; overcoming it requires
practice and persistence.6 found that study anxiety
intervention can be seen as an effective program to improve academic
performance among university students. Therefore, the participants should
practice these techniques effectively to be able in study anxiety coping to
enhance their academic performance.7 found that Music therapy decreased
State anxiety levels, Trait anxiety levels and systolic blood pressure in
oncology patients who received the intervention prior to radiotherapy. suggested some activities to overcome test anxiety such as learn how
to study efficiently, establish a consistent pre-test routine, learn relaxation
techniques, don't forget to eat and drink, get some exercise, get plenty of
sleep, talk to your teacher, don't ignore a learning disability, see a
The current study supports the fact that intervention
program is effective in decreasing Test Anxiety. This promising study has
provided a starting point for the continued research and development of
intervention program to overcome test anxiety.
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