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Background To The Study
Anxiety generally is a physiological and psychological state characterized by cognitive somatic, emotional and behavioural component (Seligam, Walker & Resenhen 2001). Although anxiety is often detrimental, it may be beneficial, if is not extreme. An optimal amount of anxiety can mobilize human being to respond rapidly and efficiently, while excessive amount of anxiety may foster poor response and some time inhibit response (Simpson, Parker & Harrison, 1995).
Test anxiety is a complex and multi dimensional construct comprising cognitive, physiological and behavioural component that has been define as “an emotional state experienced during examination or test” (Chapel et al, 2005, Spielberger & Vagg, 2005).
Test anxiety is another important variable often related to academic performance. According to Keogh and French (2001), test anxiety predisposed individual to react negatively to the test itself. Test anxiety make it hard for student to concentrate on test and perform adequately.
The comprehensive reviews by Hambree (1988) studies showed that test anxiety caused poor performance. It implies that test anxiety had a negative relation with student’s performance. Therefore, the high-test anxious students tended to score lower than low test anxious student.
This result was supported by the finding of various studies (Eman and Farooqi, 2005, MC Donald, 2001).
Test on the other hand is one of main method of assessment in school at all level (Papantonious, Moraitous and Filippidous, 2011); As a result of that, many student become anxious when presented with test and almost all student experience test anxiety at least once in their academic life (Keogh et al, 2004).
According to Spielberger and Vagg (1995) test anxious individual is more prone to react with excessive anxiety (such as worry, negative thought, nervousness and physiological arousal) across evaluative situation. The high level of state anxiety among the test anxious individual in an evaluative situation activates worry conditions stored in one’s memory. Consequently, these worry conditions interferes with the test anxious individual’s performance on a test (Zeidner, 1998).
Consequently, test anxiety is a significant educational problem affecting many student in school (Salend, 2011). Researchers has reported test anxiety as one of major cause for student under achievement and low performance at different level of their educational life (Oludipe, 2009) and has been shown to affect student’s ability to profit from instruction (Schon Wetler, 1995).
Sarason (1984) proposed that concept of test anxiety comprises (1) Tension: emotional feelings that one experience prior or during the test. (2) Worry: thoughts relative to test performance. (3) Test irrelevant thinking: thought that divert the student attention away from the test itself (4) Bodily symptoms: psychological reaction prior or during test.
Worry and irrelevant thinking are cognitive component whereby tension and bodily symptom are considered into emotional component (David, Brendan and Gary, 2000).
Notwithstanding, the origin of test anxiety is explained with learning deficit model. This model prostulates that anxiety lies not in taking the test but in preparing for the test (Kleijn, VanderPloeg & Topman, 1994). This model further states that students with high test anxiety tend to have or use inadequate learning skill while in the preparation stage of test taking.
Chapel et al (2005) showed that test anxiety has negative correlation with self efficacy. Similarly Cassady and Johnson (2002) and Jing (2007) found that test anxiety is negatively correlated to self efficacy.
According to Bandura (1997) self-efficacy is the belief in one’s own capacity to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situation. Studies shows that one’s own belief of efficacy function as an important determinant of motivation, affect, thought and action (Bandura, 1993, 1994, 2004).
According to Payares and Schunk (2001) assumption and belief student develop and hold to be true about themselves are vital in their success or failure in school. As noted by Bandura (1997) individual creates and develop self perception of capability that become instrumental to the goals they pursue and to the control they exercise over their environment. Individuals are understood to posses self-belief that enable them to exercise a measure of control over their thoughts, feelings and action.
Generally, people with high self efficacy approach difficult task as challenge to be mastered rather than threat to be avoided. Student with high level of self efficacy imagine how they can succeed and they trust in their own abilities while student with low level of self efficacy sees difficult task as threat to avoid (Bandura, 1994).
Nelson and Knight (2010) study showed that students can avoid negative outcome of test anxiety by thinking of past achievement which will build courage and endurance and in turn will increase their efficacy. However, those with high level of self efficacy show lower level of test anxiety, possibly because they believe in themselves and are able to imagine a successful outcome (Barrow et al, 2013).
Emotional intelligence is another important variable often related to test anxiety. Since 1990, Peter Salovey and John, G. Mayer have been the lending researcher on emotional intelligence. In their influential article “Emotional intelligence” they defined emotional intelligence as “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s feelings and emotions to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action” (Mayer & Salovey, 1990).
According to Bar-On (1997), Emotional intelligence is related to understanding one-self and others, concerning with people adapting to and coping with the immediate environment to be successful in dealing with requirements of understanding. When emotional intelligence skill are focus of learning, student are building human development behaviour that are intricately related to the positive outcome achievement, goal achievement and personal well being (Adeyemo, 2007).
Emotional intelligence has been said to matter twice as much as IQ (Goleman, 1998). Yet it has been labeled as “allusive concept” (Davies, Stankor and Robert, 1998). It has also, according to some, “proven resistant to adequate measurement” (Beckers, 2003), Others have claimed that a considerable body of research “suggests that Emotional intelligence provides the basis for competence important in almost all task (Cherniss, 2004). But “Emotional intelligence appears to be more myth than science” (Mathew, Zeidner and Robert 2002).
The study and measurement of emotional intelligence has its root in the work of such psychometrics pioneers as Binet, Thorndike and wechster among others (Francher, 1995). Emotional Intelligence comprises two major factors which is intelligence and emotion. Intelligence can be viewed as representing primarily, the capacity to carryout abstract thought as well as the general ability to learn and adapt to environment (Sternberg & Delterman, 1986, Terman 1921, Wechler, 1997). This ability often said to be represented by a common general factor (Carrol, 1993, Delterman, 1983, Spear man, 1927).
There has been considerable research into the influence of emotional maturity of the same performance of people. The impact of the same on test anxiety has not been extensively delved into. There have indeed been some studies that demonstrate the predictive effect of emotional intelligence on academic achievement and performance (Bar-On 2003 Marquez, Martin & Bracket 2006, Adeyemo, 2007) but just a few of them have sought to provide evidence of empirical relationship between student’s emotional intelligence and their scores in the studies.
Goleman (2001) states that “student who have emotional competency can better deal with pressure of peer politics, high demand required for academic performance and temptation of alcohol, drugs and sex”. However, the way of emotional intelligence are being used both by the student and those who support them has a powerful effect on their life (Bayani, 2015). Emotional intelligence appear to be a core ingredient that when developed and well employed has wide ranging benefit for learning relationship and well being (Bayani, 2015).
Notwithstanding, gender could possibly predict difference in level of test anxiety in students. Zeidner (1990) and Kessler et al (1995) found that girls significantly have high test anxiety than boys. However, Mwanwenda (1993) found no significant gender difference in test anxiety among South Africa sample.
Gender from the theoretical perspective states that girls have greater verbal abilities than boys. Girls acquire language and develop verbal skills at an earlier age than boys (Bornstein & Haynes, 1998) and display a small but consistent verbal advantage on tests of reading comprehension and speech fluency throughout child and adolescence.
Sharma and Sud (1990) found that female student experience higher level of test anxiety than male irrespective of their culture background. The study involved student from four Asian culture. They further argue that the major fundamental factors involved in the gender related difference in test anxiety among student may be a greater role expectation conflict among female then among male student (Farooqi et al, 2012).
Statement Of The Problem
Due to the increasing maladjusted behaviour manifested by many student during test and against the proven empirical fact that test anxiety necessarily inherently stressful. It is necessary to have a look at the factors that contributes to test anxiety. Specifically the study examine self-efficacy, emotional intelligence and gender on test anxiety among secondary school student.
Based on articulated objective of the study, the following research questions are addressed in the work:
1. Are there significant relationship among self efficacy, emotional intelligence, gender and test anxiety?
2. What is the co-relational effect of self efficacy, emotional intelligence and gender on test anxiety?
3. What is the separate effect of self efficacy, emotional intelligence and gender on test anxiety?
Objective Of The Study
i. The finding of this study will be useful in improving the quality of learning techniques in schools.
ii. To help in reducing test anxiety syndrome in students.
iii. To help in reducing examination malpractice due to poor preparation during test or examination.
iv. To educate teachers on the importance of good teaching technique and good test conduct
v. To help in improving the standard of education in our society and make examination or test less stressful as it was assumed to be.
Hypothesis Of Study
The following hypothesis could therefore be tested in the course of the study:
i. There would be no significant effect of self-efficacy on test anxiety.
ii. There would be no significant effect of emotional intelligence on test anxiety.
iii. There would be no significant effect of gender on test anxiety.
iv. There would be no significant effect of self efficacy, emotional intelligence and gender on test anxiety.
Operation Definition Of Terms
Self-efficacy- is the individual assessment of their capabilities to organize and execute action required to achieve successful level of performance (Bandura, 1994).
Emotional intelligence- is the process of one’s assessment of his own and other’s emotion accurately to express feelings appropriately and process of using emotional information to make life better (Salovery & Mayer, 1990).
Gender- is a social construction that outline the role behaviour activities and attribution that a particular society believes are appropriate for men and women (Martin & Halverson, 1981)
Test anxiety- is an emotional states experienced during examination or test consisting of feeling of tension, apprehension, nervousness, worry and associated psychological arousal resulting from activation of the automatic nervous system (Chapel et al, 1996, Spielberger & Vagg, 2005).
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