Factors, including curriculum, that relate to test anxiety experienced by secondary students : a study based on High school and beyond
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In education, tests are used as indications of students' success or failure. Inferior test performance has been shown to be associated with the debilitating effects of evaluation stress. An educator's task is to provide opportunities for students to enjoy learning experiences that allow for success. Teachers must, therefore, be aware of factors that might impede this process.
The purpose of this study was to determine levels of test anxiety (TA) perceived to be experienced by secondary students, as well as the relationship to TA of students' personal characteristics, home environment characteristics, participation in co- and extra-curricular activities, performance on cognitive tests, and curriculum type. The sample used for the third fol1owup of the High School and Beyond (HSB) 1980 Senior Cohort (n=ll,995) was examined for this study.
A TA index was constructed using data from three questions from Section 7 of the HSB cognitive test. Results of item analysis and Kuder-Richardson Internal Consistency Reliability Estimate (KR-20) indicated that the index had internal consistency and low to moderate reliability. A second item analysis, using supplemental variables, indicated that the index was valid.
Transformation of student responses to TA index items, assigned students TA scores ranging from -13 to +13, with -13 representing the minimum level of TA. Only six (.01%) of the students scored +13, the highest TA level. TA scores for 11% of the students indicated high levels.
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