THE FEAR AS FACTOR OF LOW SCORES IN THE EVALUATION: SPEAKING
Laura Daniela Palacios
Diana Milena Pérez
Diego Armando Granados
Nancy M. Barón
UNIVERSIDAD PEDAGÓGICA Y TECNOLÓGICA DE COLOMBIA
The research questions of this study were the following: Why are the students afraid to
present evaluations? Which is the more appropriated method to evaluate the students? How
does contribute the feedback in the lost of fear when the students present an evaluation?
and What is the effect of didactic methods respect with the fear to the evaluation?.
To identify the problems presented in the oral and written evaluation, specially the fear.
To do that students lose the fear to present the oral and written tests
To give confidence to realize the oral and written evaluation
To search more appropriate methods to evaluate
To use more didactics methods to have better outcomes
THE FEAR AS FACTOR OF LOW SCORES IN EVALUATION:
SPEAKING AND WRITING.
This work presents the development of a research on oral and written evaluation. It is
developed in a public school (Silvino Rodriguez) in Tunja, Colombia, with a group of fifth
graders, who study English as a foreign language. The main research question is: Why are
the students afraid to present evaluations? This question is formulated because we could see
the fear that the evaluations produce in children. For this reason the general goal of this
research project is to determine the fear that the students feel when they are evaluated in
speaking and writing.
The data collection techniques that support this project are interviews, photos of an oral
exam, and data of the written exam. This study promotes a more collaborative environment
among teachers and students, taking into account the confidence among them.
Key Words: Fear, Evaluation, Writing, Speaking
Students usually feel a lot of fear when they are going to present an evaluation, it is one of
the most important aspects in the process, because grace to it, the students have low scores
in their notes. According to the observation done in the school Silvino Rodriguez to the
students of fifth graders, we observed that they were frightened of pass in front of their
classmates in the oral evaluation, because they felt that their knowledge were not sufficient
or simply they felt fear to their partners’ critic. Also in the written evaluation they felt
insecurity of their knowledge and they doubted of their capacity. Another factor is that the
students were influenced by their undisciplined classmates and for that reason they did not
do good the proposed activities. For that reason it is important to do different analysis that
help to find solution to this problem.
The evaluation has a lot of impacts on the students, but in this case we will board specially
the fear that the tests produce in them. This research was done with the purpose of detect
the difficulties in the students in the moment of realize an evaluation in speaking and
writing. In the fifth graders we could find the fear as factor to affect the discharge of the
students in the development of the oral exams and the written tests. For that reason this
research is focused in the student’s weaknesses, needs in the evaluation and it is oriented to
try to find solutions and to search the best evaluative strategy to improve the outcomes of
the evaluation process (in speaking and writing) and to try to dominate the fear.
Is very important to do this research because with it teachers can understand the different
problems that are present (in the school) in the evaluation process and they can look for
strategies that help to the development of it in the areas of speaking and writing. Also it was
made with the purpose of finding solutions to the problems in the evaluation.
Also is very important that we as future teachers take into account the problems that
involve to the students in the evaluation, and it is to know what we can do in these cases.
In this case we will board the fear as factor of low scores in the evaluation, because with it
the students cannot have a good discharge, but they have a low efficiency. For this reason
we think that it is very important to look for strategies that help to a better discharge in the
oral and written evaluation.
WHAT IS THE TAUTOPHOBIA?
It is a specific phobia to the exams. This can be "advanced" if the feeling of discomfort is
produced in the study of the topics of the evaluation or in the anticipation of think in the
exam, or “standing" if it is in the moment.
A phenomenon related with the anxiety is to postpone the time of the tests. People who
suffer the tautophobia suppose that avoiding the evaluations, they escape of the problem but
it is not of that manner.
Around the world there are 30% of Young people with stress and anguish for the exams.
The doctors and specialists of this problem say that this phenomenon it´s in all the ages and
levels of study: since children in primary until young adult people in the university.
Respect with the university students, there are students of 20 and 27 years old, who hide
their difficulty in the oral exams and only they yield well in written evaluations. This kind
of phobia is given in competitive ambits.
Why is there stress in the children with respect to the evaluation?
Our society is highly competitive, overcoat in the last times. It´s a constant search to reach
the excellence. For that reason if the students feel that their partners know more than them
they feel insecurity of their capacity.
Some causes of the tautophobia in oral and written exams:
Fear to the partner´s critic.
Negative experiences, with bad notes in the evaluations
Anxiety and bad management of the time of study
Fear to be negative evaluated for the classmates
Fear to the failure
Social or familiar pressure
The student anxious can present difficulties in his efficiency, for that reason in the
evaluation the student cannot have a good score.
The feeling of failure is inevitable. In a lot of cases children study but in the moment of
expose, they feel insecurity. In the case of the oral evaluation is very difficult for them to
express their ideas, and in the written exam they do not know what to write, or maybe they
How can the students confront the phobia?
Each person needs its own strategy. But in here there are some rulers to dominate the
anxiety and the fear to the evaluations:
To use techniques of relaxing
Confront the situations that generate anxiety, and to learn to control it
To have security of the own knowledge
To concentrate the attention in the exam, forgetting the preoccupations
It is an Article Written By: María Vittori - Ellitoral.Com
THE EVALUATION: QUESTION OF FEELINGS, POWER AND ETHICS.
Undoubtedly the evaluations scare to the students. In this part we can see that some factors
are the feelings, the power and the ethics as part of the fear for presenting evaluations, for
example the fear because the teacher is very serious and he generates horror for his
authoritarian attitude. Fear to do not defraud to the teacher, obligation for the efforts of the
family, to feel insecurity of the knowledge, preoccupation, lack of self confidence, etc.
In conclusion we can see that the things that affect the process of evaluation are related
with the fear that is produced for a lot of external factors, such as the power of the teacher
in the classroom, the feelings that it generates, and in relation with the ethics. It is about the
feelings of responsibility of the students to present an evaluation. It involves the social
ambient where the student are exposed, and the pressures that they have to confront, like
the family, the fear to the failure, the fear to deception to someone, or maybe to oneself.
Finally it is about the fear that the students feel with the evaluation, and the possible
solutions to solve it.
Written by: Jorge Fasce
The participants of this research were the students of fifth graders in the school Silvino
Rodriguez. This research was made explaining the topics and using didactic things such as:
We did an activity with flashcards doing that the students identified the personal pronouns,
and then we did the evaluation of that passing them to the board.
We review the present progressive with drawings, and we passed to different children to the
board to identify the images and to write sentences, and we did some written sentences in
The numbers ´song: to evaluate vocabulary, pronunciation and measure the grade of
attention took in this activity.
We remembered the numbers by middle of the match operations: (Add and subtract)
For gathering information, in this project we used the following instruments in order to
establish what information is important and appropriate for the research: observation, Tests:
individual test and Group test, and interviews.
Observation: we observed that the students passed to the board and they were blocked, for
that reason when the students passed to write the numbers or sentences they did not wrote
anything or they wrote bad.
Tests: We made two classes of exam: Individual Test and Group test
Individual test: The individual test was made to determine the grade of confidence of the
students in them.
Group test: The group test was done to determine if the students work better together and
feel less fear.
Interview: It was made with the purpose of determine what do the students feel when they
present an evaluation. It was made orally and the questions were the following:
1. How did you feel during the evaluation?
Answer: In the oral evaluation some students said that they felt fear because they did not
know the topics, another students said that they felt frightened of their partner´s critic, and
another students said that they felt good because they know. In the written evaluation they
said that they felt insecurity of their knowledge.
2. Why do you feel fear in the oral and written evaluations?
Answer: The majority of the students said that they feel fear in the oral exams because
maybe they do not the topic or maybe they feel anxiety. And in the written exams they feel
that they do not know sufficient.
3. What was the most difficult part?
Answer: They said that to go to the board in the oral evaluation is a difficult part because
all the partners are seeing them, and in the written evaluation the worst part is when they do
not know what to write.
.4. How do you prefer to be evaluated?
Answer: The majority said that they would prefer to be evaluated with games or with
It was a communicative and natural approach, because the class was created in an
environment of confidence among the students and teachers. The topics were the personal
pronouns, the present progressive and the numbers. The main objective was to know the
grade of knowledge of the students through the application of the evaluation about the
topics explained before, and to see which would be the results in the oral and written tests.
The class began with a warming up, after that, we did our presentation saying our names
and our occupations, then we followed with the explanations and the review of the topics,
and finally was applied the evaluation in oral and written form. The review was made in the
The class began with a brief explanation about the personal pronouns with fiches, doing
that the children identified the pronouns, after that follow with the explanation about the
present progressive with different drawings, and finally we explained the numbers with
cards. The evaluation was done passing the students to the board to write sentences, and to
say orally some sentences of the topics. Also they wrote in a sheet.
It is an action research and for that reason it not only will show the problem, but will try to
propose a possible solution in a real practice to increase the confidence in the students to
solve the problem of the fear.
The research project is qualitative, this kind of research is the most common pedagogical
research used to identify the nature of the reality and its structure, it is also related with the
student´s behavior. This project is oriented to understand the phenomenon of the fear in the
evaluation and it pretends to look for possible solutions.
The action research is a significant methodology for intervention, development and change
within communities and groups.
In the oral evaluation we observed that the students were frightened of pass to the board to
write, because they felt fear to their classmates’ critic. Also we saw that the students of fifth
graders do not know vocabulary and for that reason they doubt of their capacities.
The reason of the fear in the written evaluation was that they doubted of their capacity, and
they felt a lot of insecurity.
We observed that the best method to help to the students to don not feel fear is to give
confidence, courage for improving the scores of them in the evaluation
According to the observation we can say that the feedback is a good strategy to confront the
fear, because with it the students feel confidence among themselves and help among them,
for example in an exercise of oral evaluation the child who passed to the board did not
know what to write and his classmates helped him, saying him what was the correct form of
writing and pronunciation.
In the research we could observe the fear that the evaluations produce to the children, for
example: the partner´s critic, the negative experiences, the bad notes in the past evaluations.
We found different factors that affect such as: the anxiety, the fear to be negative evaluated
for the classmates, fear to the failure and social or familiar pressure.
We identified solutions like to increase the confidence among teacher and students,
creating an ambient of stillness, security and respect.
We have to motivate to the students to find in oneself the security, to use techniques
of relaxing, confront the situations that generate anxiety, and to learn to control it.
As future teachers we have to teach to the students to have security of their own
knowledge and to concentrate the attention in the exam, forgetting the
The feedback is a good way to create work in group and to help to increase the
security of the own capacities
Maybe it is a good way to start to change the fear for the confidence.
IMPLICATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
This research has a lot of observation that in the future will help to identify the problems
that are present in the evaluation on speaking and writing and to analyze it, and create more
solutions to the fear of the children in the oral and written evaluation. It will serve because
it has advices to confront this kind of problems, for example to create confidence in the
children in the previous moments of the evaluation, or maybe to give security in the oral
Testofobia, artículo escrito por María Vittori; Ellitoral.com; URL. Disponible en:
Artículo “La evaluación: cuestión de sentimientos, poder y ética” , escrito por: Jorge Fasce