Objectives: Test anxiety is a condition where individuals experience extreme distress including feelings of tension, anxiety and panic in formal educational examinations. Mindset theory describes an individual’s belief that intelligence is either inborn (‘fixed’) or more malleable (‘growth’). Although there is a body of research on the relationship between mindset and academic self-efficacy separately on academic outcomes, little is known about the effect of these variables together on test anxiety. Design: cross-sectional design Methods: A sample of undergraduate students (N = 61) recruited through convenience-sampling methods completed validated scales for test anxiety, mindset and academic self-efficacy beliefs prior to year-end examinations, and analysed using stepwise linear regression analysis in R. Results: There was no significant effect of mindset (β=-1.03, p = 0.05) or academic self-efficacy (β=-0.14, p = 0.38) on test anxiety. A significant interaction was found between mindset and academic self-efficacy on test anxiety (β=0.06, p = 0.04), change in R² = 0.06). Simple slopes analysis showed no statistically significant relationship of academic self-efficacy on test anxiety with a growth mindset (β=-0.27, p = 0.27). However, for individuals with a fixed mindset, low academic self-efficacy was related to higher test anxiety (β=-0.34, p = 0.02). Conclusions: The study provides evidence that fixed mindsets, moderated by academic self-efficacy beliefs, had a significant relationship with test anxiety whereas growth mindsets showed no such relationship. A limitation is that an undergraduate sample is unlikely to include individuals with incapacitating test anxiety. Recommendations for further research include using a school-age sample prior to compulsory examinations.
|Publication status||Published - 12 Sep 2019|
|Event||British Psychological Society Psychology of Education Section Annual Conference 2019: Getting Reflective: Psychology as a Force for Good in Education - University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom|
Duration: 12 Sep 2019 → 13 Sep 2019
|Conference||British Psychological Society Psychology of Education Section Annual Conference 2019|
|Period||12/09/19 → 13/09/19|
- Test Anxiety
- Academic self-efficacy