Academically buoyant students are less anxious about and perform better in high-stakes examinations

Dave Putwain, Suzanne Chamberlain, Anthony Daly, Shireen Saddredini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)
67 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background Prior research has shown that test anxiety is negatively related to academic buoyancy, but it is not known whether test anxiety is an antecedent or outcome of academic buoyancy. Furthermore, it is not known whether academic buoyancy is related to performance on high-stakes examinations. Aims To test a model specifying reciprocal relations between test anxiety and academic buoyancy and to establish whether academic buoyancy is related to examination performance. Sample A total of 705 students in their final year of secondary education (Year 11). Methods Self-report data for test anxiety and academic buoyancy were measured in two waves in Year 11. Examination performance was taken from the mean English, mathematics, and science scores from the high-stakes General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations taken at the end of Year 11. Results Measurement invariance was demonstrated for test anxiety and academic buoyancy across both waves of measurement. The worry component of test anxiety, but not the tension component, showed reciprocal relations with academic buoyancy. Worry predicted lower mean GCSE score and academic buoyancy predicted a higher mean GCSE score. Tension did not predict mean GCSE score. Conclusion Academic buoyancy protects against the appraisal of examinations as threatening by influencing self-regulative processes and enables better examination performance. Worry, but not tension, shows a negative feedback loop to academic buoyancy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-263
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
Volume85
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Aug 2015

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