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Test Anxiety in University Students: Identification of Inherent and Acquired Factors as a Basis for Effective Interventions

Herigel, Carolin (2011) Test Anxiety in University Students: Identification of Inherent and Acquired Factors as a Basis for Effective Interventions. University of Westminster.

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Abstract

Test anxiety (TA) is a continuously growing and widespread phenomenon in contemporary Western society and it often has negative consequences for the individual’s well-being, health and academic performance. The identification of predictors of TA is a prerequisite to a better understanding of TA. The present study investigated whether the inherent factors birth order and sex and the later in life acquired factors perfectionism, goal orientation and personality predict TA in university students. 132 students of the University of Westminster, London, completed a survey employing a self-report questionnaire. A hierarchical multiple regression revealed that maladaptive perfectionism, neuroticism, conscientiousness, being second or later born, being female and having had negative previous test experience were significant predictors of TA explaining 65% of the variance in TA scores. Based on these findings, the design and application of effective prevention and intervention programmes to support students at risk were suggested. Additionally, limitations of the study and suggestions for future research were discussed.

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