The purpose of the conducted study, described in the article entitled “Test Anxiety and Academic Performance in Undergraduate and Graduate Students” is to determine the levels of test anxiety and academic performance in large cohorts of graduate and undergraduate students and to investigate how these levels are related to one another. The hypothesis of the article is identified. It states that lower academic performance among students is linked to their test anxiety, and this is especially true for female students. This observation is supported by research data from various studies that statistically analyze the levels of academic performance and test anxiety and demonstrate the same correlation. Therefore, the hypothesis has efficient literature support. Another statement that is clearly visible informs about the negative correlation of test anxiety to student grade point average (GPA). However, the authors claim that there were virtually no such large-scale studies that would analyze the relation of test anxiety to academic performance. Therefore this study is one of the few that performs analysis of linkage between low GPA and high test anxiety in a large student population cohort.
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The population samples consisted of 5,551 students of various graduation statuses who were attendants of large universities located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. However, 5,414 of the total amount turned in the completed questionnaires. The final sample contained 4,000 undergraduates (m/f gender ratio 1,456/2,544), as well as 1,414 graduated students (358/1056 respectively). The instruments involved in the study included a one-page general information sheet that consisted of questions concerning age, gender, undergraduate/graduate status, major GPA, ethnicity, as well as socioeconomic status. Another instrument used for this study was called Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI). TAI was composed of 20 statements according to which the respondents had to give their answers to test the levels of anxiety before, during, and after test-taking. The TAI scores ranged from a minimum of 20 points to a maximum of 80.
Since this study is concentrated on investigating the negative relation between student test anxiety and the level of GPA using questionnaire surveys, it can be considered correlation research. The methods of statistical analysis used during this study included determination of means, ranges, standard deviations, ηs of the obtained variables according to such criteria, as student education level, gender, and test anxiety groups. The intercorrelations of the variables were also determined for groups of graduate and undergraduate students. According to the obtained data, test anxiety is recognized as a major problem among students of various statuses. The article concludes that low, moderate, and high levels of test anxiety cause GPA reduction according to different degrees. However, as the reduced GPA levels did not differ significantly, the authors summarize test anxiety as being one of the multiple factors that influence student academic performance. The article gives recommendations of counseling centers that would provide remedial assistance to those influenced by high test anxiety. This article’s results mostly corroborate the hypothesis that is in its turn supported by various other similar studies. Therefore this current research does not provide the scientific world with any revolutionary ideas. The statistical tools used to analyze the results were rational and valid, however, it might be a good idea for the researchers to use other alternative methods that could support the results of individual anxiety level, for example, the test of personality accentuation. This test would determine students with disturbing, dysthymic, affective types of personality, and these individuals would consequently have a tendency towards showing higher test anxiety results.
Chapel, M. Blanding, B. Silverstein, M. Takahashi, M. Newman, B. Gubi, A. McCann.
N. (2005). Test Anxiety and Academic Performance in Undergraduate and Graduate Studnets. Journal of Edicational Psychology, 97(2) 268-274.