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Anxiety in College Students

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Abstract

Students attending a school of higher education experience levels of stress and anxiety. It is thought that students stress over tests and have high levels of stress and anxiety as a result. There are a few possible causes of this kind of reaction. Personality traits can a cause of a student’s stress level.

This study examine if there is a change in state anxiety level in anticipating a test and if anxiety will be lower after. Participants included 43 North Carolina A&T State University students.

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These students were given a trait anxiety scale test, followed by a state 1 anxiety scale test, an examination and ended with a state 2 anxiety scale test. The results revealed that there was not a significant change in state anxiety after taking an exam, t(42) = 1. 345. P= . 19, r (33) = . 47, p= . 004. The results revealed that there was a Pearson Correlation between trait and state 2, p= . 5. Trait and state 1 did not show a Pearson Correlation because p=.

01. There was no Pearson correlations between State 1 and State 2, p= . 000. The experiment showed that there was no significant difference in trait and test anxiety. The Effects That Test Anxiety Has On College Students In today’s education system, students endure lots of stress. It is believed that the thought of an upcoming test can cause students to stress over the outcome of their assessment. There are many different subjects in a college curriculum and there is a lot of information to learn.

It would be common for some level of stress to be present in every college student’s life. In the past researchers have studied test anxiety amongst college students. There are two articles in particular that this experiment will focus on. The first article by Zhao, Jing-bo, Xu, Jin,Xie, Ya-ning (2007), spoke of personality traits and how they could affect one’s test results. The second article by Deffenbache and Deitz (1978), discussed the possibility of emotion state such as worry and how it would affect a college students performance. These authors gave great insight on test anxiety and stress levels.

Review of the Literature Zhao, etal. , (2007) investigate the influence of cognition on test anxiety in college students. The purpose was to discover if state of mind and anxiety had an effect on test results. The study was conducted under random group sampling method. The sample consisted of 680 college students who were enrolled in a medical university. The students were given questionnaires of Test Anxiety Test (TAT) and Dysfunctional Attitude Scales (DAS). “The results showed that the rate of test anxiety in these college students was 58. 2%.

The scores of test anxiety were significantly and positively correlated (P < 0. 01) with the scores of cognitive dysfunctional attitude, and the correlated value was 0. 41 between the total score of DAS and test anxiety; at ? = 0. 05 level, the factors of perfection, dependence, and attraction or repulsion entered multiple regression equation. The college students with test anxiety have significant cognitive dysfunctional attitude; the status of test anxiety could be released through adjusting cognitive attitude. ” These finds support the hypothesis that anxiety would affect test results.

The thought that stressors would cloud the mind and be at the forefronts of the mind, causing the student not to focus on the test they are taking. Deffenbache and Deitz (1978) carried out an experiment where 104 high and low test anxious undergraduates taking an exam with a short writing section that contained relaxation instructions or a regular exam without the relaxation instructions. It was found that those with high test anxiety scored more poorly than those without high test anxiety. It was also found that these students reported having more worries then those without high test anxiety.

Those who took the test with the relaxation instructions did better than those who had the regular exam. This study supports the idea that life events or stress factors can take over the mind stopping students from completely giving attention to the exam they are taking. If there were relaxation instructions given before the test, this would help students to clear their minds causing them to be more relaxed when taking an exam. Therefore, the purpose of this presented experiment is to measure if there is a change in state anxiety level in anticipating a test and if anxiety will be lower after.

Based on the evidence presented in previous studies, it is predicted that the mean State Anxiety score before taking an exam will be significantly higher than mean State Anxiety score after taking an exam. Method Participants The participants of this study consist of 43 North Carolina A&T State University students. Of which 27. 5% were male and 72. 5% were female. Their ages had a mean of 21. 19, ranging from 19 to 28. The participants were selected by convenience sampling because it was less time consuming and was easy to access this group of students. The study consists of 20. 9% sophomores, 41. 9% juniors and 37. % seniors. Apparatus Students were given a consent form to inform the students of the nature of the study and to ask for their consent in participating in the study. Students were given a State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults, (Spielberger, Gorsuch, Lushene, Vagg & Jacobs, 1983). Two questionnaires were used to carry out this experiment. The STAI T-Anxeity Scale (Speilberger etal. , 1983). Speilberger created a state anxiety scale to measure the person’s current anxiety level. Procedure Students were tested in a classroom. Selection was based on being in one of two classes. Students were asked to volunteer.

They were given a consent form. The trait anxiety scale was given. Two weeks later state 1 anxiety scale was given, followed by the test, followed by state 2 anxiety scale all on the same day. Mean State Anxiety score before taking an exam will be approximately equal to the mean State Anxiety score after taking an exam. A dependent sample t-test was computed to see if state anxiety increased from before taking an exam compared to state anxiety after taking an exam. Results It is hypothesized that the mean State Anxiety score before taking an exam will be significantly higher than mean State Anxiety score after taking an exam.

The results revealed that there was not a significant change in state anxiety after taking an exam, t(42) =1. 345. P=. 19, r (33) =. 47, with an alpha level of . 004. The results revealed that there was a Pearson Correlation between trait and state 2 with p= 05. Trait and state 1 did not show a Pearson Correlation because p= . 01. There was no Pearson correlations between State 1 and State 1 p=. 000. Therefore, there was no significant change in anxiety state after the examination. Discussion The purpose of this experiment was to examine if there is a change in state level in anticipating a test and if anxiety will be lower after the test.

The results of the experiment did not support the hypothesis that the mean State Anxiety score before taking an exam will be significantly higher than mean State Anxiety score after taking an exam. The findings do not support the experiments in the articles in the Review of the Literature. There are some conditions that could affect the outcome of the results overall. The person’s natural traits and stress levels or personal issues can skew the results either way. Two groups of individuals with about the same level of trait anxiety could be tested and compared in the future to see if there would be a significant difference in results.

References

  1. Zhao, J. -b. , Xu, J. , & Xie, Y. -n. (2007).
  2. Influence of cognition attitude on test anxiety in college students. Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology, 15(5), 530-531. Deffenbacher, J. L. , & Deitz, S. R. (1978).
  3. Effects of test anxiety on performance, worry, and emotionality in naturally occurring exams. Psychology In The Schools, 15(3), 446-450.
  4. Spielberger, C. D. , Gorsuch, R. L. , Lushene, R. , Vagg, P. R. , & Jacobs, G. A. (1983). State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults.

Cite this Anxiety in College Students

Anxiety in College Students. (2016, Oct 01). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/anxiety-in-college-students/

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