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Published by: Dr. Samirranjan Adhikari on Mar 09, 2011
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Samirranjan Adhikari
Bhaskar Chakraborty
Test anxiety is a set of phenomenological, physiological and behavioural responsesaroused as an apprehension the possible negative consequences of impending failure on anexamination or similar evaluative situation. There are much empirical evidences that show therelationship among physical activity, psychological wellbeing and anxiety reduction. In physicaleducation teacher training curriculum there is ample scope of rigorous physical activity as well aseducational and mental exercise; so the main goal of the present study was to ascertain the impactof this training on reduction of test anxiety.
This one was a longitudinal study carried out through quasi-experimental researchdesign. A sample of 108 B.P.Ed students (40 female & 68 male) was chosen from different teachereducation institutions of West Bengal by stratified random sampling technique. FRIEDBEN TestAnxiety Scale was administered on the sample in three different phases
at the beginning, in themiddle and at the end of the session.
From the Paired Samples “t”
- test it was observed that the mean of the FTAS scoresremained statistically unchanged from the 1
phase (M = 65.59) to the 2
phase of testing (M =66.00), but there was statistically significant decrease in the 3
phase of testing (M = 62.89).
Physical education teacher training programme (B.P.Ed.) may have positive impacton reduction of test anxiety. Rigorous and prolonged physical activity in this programme may bethe cause of this reduction.
Key Words:
Anxiety, Test Anxiety, quasi-experimental research design
1. Perspective of the Study
Millions of people in the world become affected by the psychological problems due todepression and anxiety. It has a relationship with death increase and health services expenses(Anonymous, 1978). In Persian the meaning of anxiety is restlessness and confusion (Amid,1981). As per most psychological texts, it is also synonymous with words such as stress andexcitement (Kyamrz & Nori Neshat, 1993).Depression is a state of mood which is defined according to the feeling of incapability,hopelessness, decrease in action or reaction, pessimism, sadness and some other feelings(Nourbakhsh, 2004). Depression is also a natural response to life pressure such as unsuccessfulin education or losing a job. All these situations of life pressure lead to depression (Peluso, et al,2005).
Assistant Professor in Psychology, Shimurali Sachinandan College of Education, Shimurali, Nadia, West Bengal,India Tel.:09231612366, E-mail:Samirranjanadhikari@gmail.com
Research Scholar, Department of Physical Education, University of Kalyani, Kalyani, Nadia, West Bengal, India.
Paper presented to the “National Seminar on Modern Trends in Physical Education and sportsScience” orgamized by Department of Physical Education, University of Kalyani,
West Bengal, India November 25-26, 2010.
2In fact, anxiety is a kind of independent excitement. Anxiety is accompanied by a badfeeling of in security and consequently some bodily changes take place. Depression may becaused due to deep anxiety and tension. Anxiety and depression have both psychological andbiological reactions.Test anxiety, a special kind of anxiety, as a scientific construct refers to the set of phenomenological, physiological and behavioural responses that accompany concern aboutpossible negative consequences or failure of an examination or a similar evaluative situation(Sieber et al, 1977). Test anxiety is a serious problem for many student populations. Manystudents, at one time or another, have to deal with a kind of anxiety which may be called as testanxiety. This is an anxiety that affects a test taker before, during or after a test. Test anxiety canalso be experienced at varying levels. Slight examination stress can help a test giver by providingalertness, readiness and help him to concentrate on the study. But, excessive examination anxietycan result in stress and negatively affect performance. Test anxiety among students has beennegatively associated with test performance, achievement of degrees and selection of occupation(Topp, 1989). Students at all levels who suffer from test anxiety choose and pursue careerswhich involve infrequent evaluation and, which consequently, may not fully challenge theircognitive abilities (Krohne and Laux, 1982).A particularly low response threshold for anxiety in evaluative situation characterizes testanxious students. As a result, they tend to react with threat perceptions, reduce feelings of self-efficacy, self-derogatory conditions; anticipatory failure attributions and more intense emotionalreactions and arousal at the very first sign of failure. Test-anxious behaviour is typically evokedwhen a person believes that his/her intellectual, motivational and social capabilities are affectedby the test situation (Sarason and Sarason, 1990).Just like other types of anxiety, test anxiety also tends to occur like a wave
at the timeof first recognition it increases, then comes to peak from and finally it reduces to the minimum.If test-taking anxiety persists for long it becomes problematic.There are two types of test anxiety
one is anticipatory anxiety and the other issituational anxiety
Anticipatory anxiety refers to distressed experience while a person is in theprocess of preparation for an examination. Thinking about the impending result the personbecomes anxious. This may cause it almost impossible to concentrate on the study and to keepthe facts to memory. Again situational anxiety occurs while one faces a test or assessment like an
3oral examination or performance test. These may cause physical distress, emotional upset, andconcentration difficulties. Consequently, all of the responses affect the performance.
Anxiety is mind or body’s natural response to a threat. Actually at the time of threat body
triggers a number of physical and mental reactions. These reactions can be organized into threecategories. Each category is connected to the others. Anything that can be done to lessen onereaction will lessen the impact of the other two categories. There are three categories of reactionsare Physical (somatic), Emotional and Mental (cognitive)Physical (somatic) reaction is the easiest place to start. Both the person concern sufferingfrom test anxiety and others around him can observe these symptoms. Common physicalresponses to test anxiety are (a) Changes in body temperature, (b) Breathing problems (tightnessin chest, breathing too quickly), (c) Muscular responses (stiffness in muscles), (d) Abdominalproblems (an upset stomach, feeling queasy, nausea), (e) Headache/sensory responses (dizziness,light headedness, blurred vision), (f) Cardiovascular reactions (palpitations or tightness in chest,an increase in blood pressure) etc.There are many other anxiety related physical symptoms of test anxiety. These includeskin rashes, changes in eating patterns (eating too much or too little), an increase or decrease inactivity level, sleep disorders (insomnia, nightmares, or in severe cases of phobia, night terrors).Emotional responses can include (a) Mood changes, (b) Emotionally unstable responses,(c) Feelings of losing control etc. These emotional factors can override other bodily functionsand can easily lead a student to avoid a task completely due to an obsessive-compulsive reactionor a panic attack or a full-fledged phobia.Mental (cognitive) responses to test anxiety include (a) Irrational thinking, (b) Feelings of failure or rejection, (c) Forgetfulness and memory loss, (d) Loss of concentration and focus etc.These symptoms are due to negative thinking (fear of impending failure) rather than positivethinking (hope for success) and take control of the brain.
Physical Activities in Anxiety Management
Physical activities, more specifically physical exercises, have positive impact ondecreasing anxiety and depression. Participating in physical activities initiates a feeling of wellbeing and good mental health. According to the opinion of the psychologists, physicalenergy effects on mental energy (Garachidagi, et al, 1993).Anderson et al (1997) conducted a study to ascertain the effect of physical exercise ondepressed patient. The experimental group participated in a 24-week programme of exercise. The

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