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The impact of testing environment on test anxiety

Edwards, Landon S.
Test anxiety is a frequently occurring phenomenon amongst test takers across all levels of education, as well as in other environments where individuals are examined. This variation of anxiety may have debilitating effects on an individual's performance when taking a test or otherwise being examined (Mascret et al., 2021). The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of testing environments on test anxiety, as well as how other distress factors may contribute to one's test anxiety. It was predicted that large-scale testing environments, such as common exams and large classrooms, would be associated with higher test anxiety. Additionally, it was predicted that anxiety (as measured by the DASS-21), would be associated with test anxiety. 339 students' responses were collected via the SONA and REDCap systems, and 191 of these responses were deemed acceptable for analysis. The data were analyzed to determine student ratings of dimensions of testing environments and their association with test anxiety. In addition, whether test anxiety differed significantly based on levels of depression, anxiety, and stress was examined. The hypotheses were partially supported, with common exams and large classrooms being rated as the most-stressful/least-preferred testing environments. However, stress had the strongest significant correlation with test anxiety in comparison to the other distress factors. Implications for future research are discussed.