ERIC Number: EJ953181
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
How Is Examination Stress Experienced by Secondary Students Preparing for Their General Certificate of Secondary Education Examinations and How Can It Be Explained?
Putwain, David William
International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education (QSE), v24 n6 p717-731 2011
High stakes examinations have been identified as a significant source of stress for secondary school students; however, there is little data accounting for, and explaining, the experiences of examination stress. This study aimed to further the understanding of examination stress in secondary school students by conducting interviews with 34 students in their final two years of compulsory schooling in England, following a programme of study towards their school leaving qualification, the General Certificate of Secondary Education. Findings suggested that the appraisal of examinations as stressful was idiosyncratic, differing from one student to another. Eight distinct but related elements of examination stress were identified, which included the anticipation of failure, poor competence beliefs and the extent to which academic credentials are valued. Examination stress was also gendered, both in its subject-specific nature and in the way the experience was described by students.
Descriptors: Credentials, Stress Variables, Foreign Countries, Secondary School Students, Test Anxiety, Test Preparation, Interviews, Exit Examinations, Expectation, Failure, Beliefs, Values, Gender Differences, High Stakes Tests, Student Experience
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)