Debilitating and facilitating test anxiety and student motivation and achievement in principles of microeconomics

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In the Principles of Microeconomics class that I taught during the fall semester of 2013, 126 students participated in the completion of five questionnaires, with one describing student characteristics. The other four questionnaires included a 29-item Locus of Control Scale; a 19-item Test Anxiety Scale, with 10 items describing debilitating test anxiety and 9 items describing facilitating test anxiety; a 16-item Procrastination Scale; and a 5-item Fear of Failure Scale. Using the Test Anxiety Scale, the class was divided into two groups of students by a median split of 2.8 for debilitating test anxiety and 2.56 for facilitating test anxiety. The results of this study show that students who suffered more from debilitating test anxiety (higher than the 2.8 median split) scored lower average test scores, were non-white, procrastinated more, and experienced lower facilitating test anxiety. Students who experienced more facilitating test anxiety (higher than the 2.56 median split), scored higher average test scores, were males, were internally oriented, and suffered less from debilitating test anxiety. Regression results show that debilitating test anxiety has a significant and negative effect on student performance as reflected by the average class score for the semester. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd


Debilitating and facilitating test anxiety; Economic education; Student achievement; Student motivation

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