Causes and consequences of test anxiety in Key Stage 2 pupils: The mediational role of emotional resilience

E. Connors, D. Putwain, K. Woods, L. Nicholson

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Deleterious effects of Standardized Achievement Tests, such as those taken at Key Stage 2, on the emotional and physical wellbeing, educational experiences and outcomes of primary school pupils in England have recently been documented (e.g. Tymms & Merrell, 2007), yet there is a lack of empirical evidence supporting these claims. This paper reports on the outcomes of a mixed methods study, involving 120 Year 6 pupils and their teachers, from 3 English primary schools, which examined pupils’ experiences of SATs and SAT related anxiety as well as the extent to which differences in pupils’ resilience moderate the effects of test anxiety. Using hierarchical regression analyses to control for differences in pupils’ general ability, it was found that poorer SAT grades in English, maths and science were significantly associated with higher levels of self-reported test anxiety and lower levels of resilience and that the negative effects of worry, off task behavior and autonomic reaction components of test anxiety were moderated by differences in pupils’ resilience. Qualitative data provided further evidence of SAT related anxiety and its various sources, but also highlighted both positive and negative attitudes towards the tests.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventBritish Educational Research Association (BERA) Conference - University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Sept 20095 Sept 2009


ConferenceBritish Educational Research Association (BERA) Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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