Academic journal article Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research

The Relationship between Test Anxiety, Epistemological Beliefs and Problem Solving among Students

Academic journal article Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research

The Relationship between Test Anxiety, Epistemological Beliefs and Problem Solving among Students

Article excerpt


The purpose of this study was to investigate the test anxiety, epistemological beliefs and problem solving among students. The target population of the current research was all the students of University of Sistan and Baluchestan in the academic year 2013-2014 and the number of the sample was 375. They were selected using a classified and simple random method. The main tools to collect data were three questionnaires. The test anxiety questionnaire by Abolqasemi et al. (1996), epistemological beliefs questionnaire by Schommer (1998), and Patio problem-solving questionnaire (2002) were used. The reliability of these questionnaires was calculated through Cronbach's Alpha test as 0.93, 0.75 and 0.88. To test the research questions, single sample t-test, independent t and Pearson correlative coefficient were adopted using SPSS software, version 20. The results showed that students have relatively high-test anxiety. It was also shown that they have relatively good epistemological beliefs. The students' status to solve the problems is also satisfactory to some extent. There is a positive and significant relationship between test anxiety and epistemological beliefs at low level. But no statistically meaningful relationship was noticed between test anxiety and problem solving. Meanwhile the results showed that there is a negative and meaningful relationship at low level between epistemological beliefs and problem solving.



Test anxiety is a common phenomenon among students and is considered one of the problems of tire educational system. Due to tire extensive effect of anxiety and its negative consequences, the sources of anxiety and its effects should be specified (Fathi-Ashtiani & Qolivand, 2002). Test anxiety has close relation with educational performance and progress and even the future performance of millions of school and university students (Kivimaki, 1995). Test anxiety is a common type of performance anxiety and 10 to 20% of tire school and university students suffer from it (Sargolzaei, Fayazi-Bordbar, Samari, & Shakiba, 2003). It is also a general expression and is known as a social anxiety or fear that makes tire individual feel doubtful about his abilities, and its consequence is a reduction of ability to confront test situations and those where the individual is exposed to assessment. It requires problem-solving; therefore, it could be said that the person suffering from anxiety knows the answers to the test questions, but the degree of test anxiety prevent him from using his knowledge (Sargolzaei, et al., 2003).

Systematic research in the area of anxiety as a cognitive-provocative phenomenon refers to the studies conducted by Mandler and Sara son (1952). Morris and Libert in the 1996 and Spiel Berger in the 1980 raised the two important parameters, i.e., concern and provocation for test anxiety (Yousefi, Habibi, & Mohammadkhani, 2013). The parameter of concern refers to cognitive activities irrelevant to obligation that consists of high cognitive concern about performance, consequences of failure resulting from testing thoughts vis-à-vis self-humiliation and blaming, assessment of one's ability in comparison with others, negative expectations of tire performance and self-statement in a negative way and tire parameter of provocation refers to autonomous physiological reactions such as palpitation, butterfly in one's stomach, headache, perspiration, etc. (Mehrabizadeh-Honarmand, Abolqasemi, Najjarian, & Shekarkan, 2000). Die effective factors that create the test anxiety could be classified into three main factors, i.e., personality factors (low self-confidence, ban on external control, general anxiety of self-efficiency, unsuitable studying skills and learnt disappointment), educational centre-related factors (difficult lessons and tests, teacher's untimely expectations, time restrictions, unsuitable test environment, unsuitable light and unsuitable disturbing factors such as noise) and family-related factors (methods of raising children, parents' excess demands, punishment and blaming, encouragement and socio-economic situation). …

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