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ERIC Number: EJ1084598
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1918-2902
Perceptions and Incidence of Test Anxiety
Gerwing, Travis G.; Rash, Joshua A.; Allen Gerwing, Alyssa M.; Bramble, Bev; Landine, Jeff
Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v6 n3 Article 3 2015
Test anxiety (TA) can lower student GPA and increase dropout rates in populations of university students. Despite numerous treatment options, many students still suffer from TA. The stigma attached to this type of anxiety and the incidence rates and perceptions of TA were quantified through surveys distributed to 1,099 students at a Canadian university. Results of this study indicated that 38.5% of students (30.0% of males, 46.3% of females) suffered from self-reported TA at some point over the course of their university career. The prevalence of TA varied by faculty, with the highest incidence among those students enrolled concurrently in Arts and Science, and Nursing students. While student perceptions varied by age, sex, and experience with TA, one third of students expressed negative and inaccurate views about TA. These negative perceptions may explain why 11.3% of surveyed students indicated they would not seek help for their TA as, for many, to do so would make them seem weak in the eyes of their colleagues. Further, 20.5% of students surveyed reported that they believe professors would be unable or unwilling to help. It may be the case that this negative perception towards TA makes it difficult for faculty and helping professionals to identify and intervene effectively. Faculty specific educational campaigns designed to educate students about TA, in particular about its prevalence and severity, are suggested as a method to circumvent the negative stigma surrounding this condition. Implementation of such educational policies will likely improve the educational experience and performance of students with TA, as well as improve student retention.
University of Western Ontario and Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Mills Memorial Library Room 504, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Test Anxiety Inventory
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A