You are on page 1of 8

Influence of Emotional Intelligence, Sex and Academic Grade

on Student’s Examination Anxiety.

Department of Psychology, Rajaram College, Kolhapur, MS India 416004

The aim of this study is to examine the influence of Emotional Intelligence, Sex and
Academic Grade on Student’s Examination Anxiety. Sample 100 students of junior colleges in
Kolhapur District were selected randomly for this assessment. Subjects selected through random
sampling (male = 50 & female = 50; 11 th Grade = 50 & 12th Grade = 50). Data analyzed by
descriptive statistic, Mean, Standard Deviation (SD) and ‘t’ Test. The data were collected using
two questionnaires Sinha’s Comprehensive Anxiety test (SCAT) set up by A.K.P. Sinha & L.N.K.
Sinha. Its reliability is 0.85 and Validity is 0.62, Mangal Emotional Intelligence Inventory
(MEEI) set up by S K Mangal, its reliability is by split half 0.89, and by test-retest 0.92 and
Validity is 0.662. The findings also revealed that, the students having high Emotional
Intelligence are low level of Anxiety. The same fact is found in case of a fourth dimension i.e.
Inter-Personal Management of Emotional Intelligence but 1st Intra-personal awareness, 2nd
Inter-Personal awareness, and 3rd dimension is Intra-Personal Management of Emotional
Intelligence have no such influence was found regarding Anxiety, Female students are more
anxious than that of male students but no difference was found between 11 th and 12th grade
students regarding the level of Anxiety.

Key Words: Anxiety, Emotional Intelligence, Sex & Academic Grade.

An anxiety disorder can prevent your child from making friends, raising a hand in class,
or participating in school or social activities. Feelings of being ashamed, afraid, and alone are not
uncommon. Research has shown that if left untreated, children with anxiety disorders are at
higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in
substance abuse. Anxiety disorders also often co-occur with other disorders such as depression,
eating disorders, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Anxiety disorders occur in anywhere from 5–20% of children (Bernstein, Borchardt, &
Perwein, 1996) and about 18% of adults (Kessler, Chiu, Demler, & Walters, 2005), inflicting
considerable suffering and dysfunction.
The term “anxiety disorder” refers to a group of mental illnesses that includes generalized
anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic
stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (also called social phobia), and specific phobias.
Each anxiety disorder has specific symptoms.
Experts believe anxiety disorders are caused by a combination of biological and
environmental factors, similar to allergies and diabetes. Stressful events such as starting school,
moving, or the loss of a parent or grandparent can trigger the onset of an anxiety disorder, but
stress itself does not cause an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders tend to run in families, but not
everyone who has one passes it on to their children. Neither you nor your child is at fault, and an
anxiety disorder diagnosis is not a sign of weakness or poor parenting.

Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence was earlier recognized in 1920 by E.L. Thorndike. He termed it as
Social or Practical Intelligence. Emotions are one of the most argued psychological and complex
phenomena. James-Lange theory is one of the early descriptions which explain the model. “The
bodily changes follow directly the perception of the existing fact, and that one’s feeling of the
same changes as their occurring is the emotion”. This early stage theory shows that there is a link
between emotion and body responses. Emotional Intelligence (EI) concept, which involves
abilities related emotions, has a broad interest in the scientific fields. According to Saibani,
Sabtu, Muhamad, Wahab, Sahari and Deros (2012), EI focuses not only on emotions but also on
the effect of the use of emotions and EI becomes an interesting element associated with the
academic performance of students in tertiary education. Peter Salovey and John Mayer, who
originally used the term "emotional intelligence" in published writing, defined emotional
intelligence as: (…)Emotional intelligence involves the ability to perceive accurately, appraise,
and express emotion; the ability to access and/or generate feelings when they facilitate thought;
the ability to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; and the ability to regulate emotions
to Promote emotional and intellectual growth (Mayer and Salovey, 1997).

Bar-On’s study (1997) reveals that females are more aware of emotions, can establish
better interpersonal relationships and socially more responsible than men. This finding shows
similar results with our study about the score of females on Emotional Intelligence. The findings
of the gender differences show that female students have higher scores of Emotional Intelligence
than that of Male Students.
The present study reveals several significant differences between variables. As there are
few related studies in literature, it is suggested to researchers to continue examining relationship
between emotional intelligence and anxiety to have clear explanation about subjects.

Gender Group Differences

It is widely claimed that gender, which is connected to many developmental trends,
affects the growth and exposure of anxiety in evaluative encounters (Basso, Gallagher, Mikusa &
Rueter, 2011). In the middle years of elementary school, gender differences in test anxiety start to
appear, and constantly female students tend to mention higher test anxiety levels compared to
male students since elementary school through high school and college (Hembree, 1988; Hill &
Sarason, 1966; Zeidner, 1998). The prevalence of anxiety disorders in women has clearly
increased, and compared to men are two times more likely to develop the disease (Kinrys &
Wygant, 2005; Pigott, 1999, 2003; Basso et al., 2011).
According to Hodge, McCormic, and Elliot (1997), for instance, explored the level of test
anxiety in a large group of adolescents as they approached their last exam. He found that most of
the students, especially girls, were encountering a high level of distress during this time, and
variables like poor socio-economic condition and the perception of academic competence makes
them to be most vulnerable to these negative states. Cole, Truglio, and Peek (1999) in assertion
of aforementioned studies, found that female students mentioned elevated levels of anxiety and
depression and also devalue their academic competence, while male students showed a reversed
trend and overvalued their competency (Locker & Cropley, 2004). Consistent with previous
research, some other studies also showed that both female undergraduate and graduate students
experience more test anxiety than male counterparts in spite of having higher GPAs than male
students (Ginter et al., 1982; Hembree, 1988; Seipp, 1991; Zeidner, 1998; Chapell et al, 2005).
The question as to why females undergo higher test anxiety compared to males remains
to be unanswered. It is stated that women may become more concerned about their personal

inadequacies than men and as a result, experience more worry and discomfort in evaluative
conditions due to the increased degree of public self-consciousness. Furthermore, it has been
hypothesized that men and women perceive and react to the assessment in a different mode
(Lewis & College, 1987; Zeidner, 1998). However, Basso et al., (2011) have posited some other
contributing factors, including neurodevelopment, physiological, hormonal factors, and also
personal and societal burden, which seem to increase women’s vulnerability to experience higher
anxiety than men.

Reviews of the Study on Anxiety, Emotional Intelligence and Academic Achievement:

Venkatesh Kumar (2010) examined the relationship between Mathematics anxiety,
mathematics performance and overall academic performance of high school students. It was
found that there is significant difference between boys and girls in mathematics performance and
academic performance. MacCann, Carolyn (2001) found the relationship between performance
measures of emotional intelligence coping styles, and academic achievement is sparse. Two
studies were designed to redress this imbalance. In each of these studies, both EI and coping
styles were significantly related to academic achievement. Results suggest that better educational
outcomes might be achieved by targeting skills relating to emotion management and problem-
focused coping. Adeyemo (2007) studied the moderating influence of emotional intelligence on
the link between academic self-efficacy and achievement among university students. The
participants in the study were 300 undergraduate students at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan,
Nigeria. The study revealed that emotional intelligence and academic self-efficacy significantly
correlated with academic achievement. Schaffner, Ellen and Schiefele, Ulrich (2007)
investigated the effects of motivational instructions on interest, test anxiety, and text learning.
The sample consisted of 375 ninth graders. The study reveals that the expected effects of type of
instruction on interest and test anxiety when measured directly after the treatment. Reviews of
previous studies shows that there were no studies conducted on Emotional Intelligence and
anxiety proneness in relation to academic achievement especially for the students of pre-
university college level so far in Maharashtra state. More number of studies was related to
secondary school student and middle school students and hence these are the reasons why the
present study taken by us.

1. To study the influence of Emotional Intelligence on the Anxiety.
2. To know the impact of various dimensions of Emotional Intelligence on the Anxiety.
3. To compare the Anxiety among male and female students.
4. To compare the Anxiety among the students of 11th and 12th grade.

1. Emotional Intelligence and there dimension have significantly influence on the Anxiety.
2. Female students have higher level of Anxiety than that of male students.
3. 12th grade students are higher level of Anxiety than that of 11th grade students.
The population of this study was all of male and female Junior college students (N=100).
Subjects selected through random sampling (male = 50 & female = 50; 11th Grade = 50 & 12th
Grade = 50). Data analyzed by descriptive statistic, Mean, Standard Deviation (SD) and ‘t’ Test.

Research Tools
Sinha’s Comprehensive Anxiety test (SCAT) set up by A.K.P. Sinha & L.N.K. Sinha. Its
reliability is 0.85 and Validity is 0.62, this test contains 90 items.
Mangal Emotional Intelligence Inventory (MEEI) set up by S K Mangal, its reliability is
by split half 0.89, and by test-retest 0.92 and Validity is 0.662, and this test contains 100 items. It
has been designed for use with Hindi knowing 16+ year age of school, college and University
students for the measurement of their emotional intelligence which identifies four areas of EI
I)Intra-personal awareness, II) Inter-Personal awareness, III) dimension is Intra-Personal
Management and IV) Inter-Personal Management of Emotional Intelligence.
Discussion & Interpretation
In table no. 1. Emotional Intelligence is divided in to two group students having High
Emotional Intelligence (more than P.50) and second group is students having Low Emotional
Intelligence (less than P.50) and there level of Anxiety is compared.
Table shows comparison of the score of Anxiety among two groups of students. The
mean score of Anxiety for the group of students having high Emotional Intelligence is 30.98 with
14.40 SD the same way mean score of Anxiety for the group of students having low Emotional
Intelligence is 24.94 with 10.90 SD

Table No. 1: Descriptive statistic of subject with regard to Anxiety.

Variable Levels N M SD df t
H( >p50) 50 30.98 14.400
EI 98 2.37*
L(<p50) 50 24.90 10.900
H( >p50) 50 29.58 14.050
EI-1 98 1.25 NS
L(<p50) 50 26.30 12.011
H( >p50) 50 27.10 12.347
EI-2 98 0.64 NS
L(<p50) 50 28.78 13.901
H( >p50) 50 29.56 14.173
EI-3 98 1.24NS
L(<p50) 50 26.32 11.871
H( >p50) 50 31.10 14.277
EI-4 98 2.47*
L(<p50) 50 24.78 11.086
Female 50 30.46 13.500
SEX 98 1.95 #
Male 50 25.42 12.326
Academic 11th 50 26.88 13.307
98 0.81 NS
Grade. 12th 50 29.00 12.952
(* significant at 0.05 level, NS- not significant, #- nearest boundary for significant at 0.05 level )

The ‘t’ value for the difference between these two means is 2.37 this ‘t’ value is found
statistically significant at 0.05 level. It means these two groups are significantly different. The
students having high Emotional Intelligence are low level of Anxiety. In other words it may be
stated that Emotional Intelligence significantly influence on Anxiety. Thus H1 is accepted.
The same fact is found in case of a fourth dimension of Emotional Intelligence but 1 st ,2nd
and 3rd dimension of Emotional Intelligence have no such influence was found regarding
The same table comparison of Anxiety in male and female students is shown in which the
means of male and female students are 25.42 and 30.46 respectively as well as the SD are 12.32
and 13.52 for the respected groups. 1.95 is the ‘t ‘ value for the difference between two means
that is statistically not significant but it is nearest boundary for significant so it may be consider
as the significant value it means male and female students are differ regarding Anxiety. Female
students are more anxious than that of male students thus H2 is accepted.
In the next part of the table the score of Anxiety is compared between 11 th and 12th grade
students. The mean and SD value of Anxiety of 11 th grade students is 26.88 and 13.307
respectively. The mean of Anxiety 12th grade students is 29 with 12.95 SD. The ‘t’ value is
calculated for the difference between two means and that is found 0.81 and this value is

statistically not significant it means these two groups are equally anxious (it means 11 th and 12th
grade students are not different regarding the level of Anxiety), hence H3 is rejected.
1. The students having high emotional intelligence are low level of anxiety and vice-
versa, it means emotional intelligence significantly influence on anxiety.
2. The dimensions of emotional intelligence are not influence on anxiety, but the fourth
dimension of emotional intelligence i.e. inter-personal management is significantly
influence on anxiety.
3. Females are significantly higher level of anxiety than that of males.
4. Academic grade has no influence on anxiety.
Amir, N., McNally, R.J., Riemann, B.C., Burns, J., Lorenz, M., & Mullen, J.T. (1996).
Suppression of the emotional Stroop effect by increased anxiety in patients with social phobia.
Behaviour Research and Therapy, 34, 945–948.
Bar-On, R, Kirkcaldy, JM, & Thome, EP 2000, Emotional expression and implications for
occupational stress: An application, Personality and Individual Differences,vol 28, pp. 1107-18.
Goleman, D 1995, Emotional Intelligence, Bantam Books, New York.
Matthews, G, Emo, AK., Funk, G, Robert, RD, Costa, PT, & Sxhulze, R 2006, „Emotional
intelligence, personality, and task-induced stress‟, Journal of Experimental Psychology Applied,
vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 96-107.
Sarason, IG 1980, Test anxiety: theory research and application, Lawrence Erlbaum, New Jersey
Sarasan, IG 1996, Abnormal Psychology & Modern Life, 10th Edition New York: Harper Collins.
Womble, LP 2003, Impact of stress factors on college students academic performance,
Undergraduate Journal of Psychology, vol. 16. Retrieved May 6, 2005 Stress coping
Beck, A. T. (1976). Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: International
Universities Press.
Beck, A. T., Emery, G., & Greenberg, R. L. (1985). Anxiety disorders and phobias: a cognitive
perspective. New York: Basic Books.
Beck, A. T., Sokol, L., Clark, D. A., Berchick, B., & Wright, F. (1992). Focused cognitive
therapy for panic disorder: a crossover design and one year follow-up. American Journal of
Psychiatry, 147, 778±783.

Breitholz, E., Westling, B., & OÈ st, L. G. (1998). Cognitions in generalized anxiety disorder and
panic disorder patients. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 12, 567±577.
Burns, D. (1980). Feeling good. New York: Signet.
Ehlers, A. (1995). A one year prospective study of panic attacks: clinical course and factors
associated with maintenance. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 104, 164±172.
Hoffart, A. (1995). A comparison of cognitive and guided mastery therapy of agoraphobia.
Behaviour Research and Therapy, 33, 423±434.
Leary, M. R., & Kowalski, R. M. (1995). Social anxiety. New York: Guilford Press.
Emotional Intelligence: A workbook for Beginners'. New Delhi: BPI (India) Private Ltd.
MacCann, Carolyn; (2011) Coping Mediates the Relationship Between Emotional
Intelligence (EI) and Academic Achievement. Contemporary Educational Psychology, Vol. 36(1),
pp. 60-70.
Mayer, J.D and Salovey P. (1997) What is Emotional Intelligence? In
P. Salovey and D. Sluyter (Eds.) Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence:
Implications for Educators (pp. 3-31). New York: Basic Books.
Sanwal, Vinob (2004) Emotional Intelligence: The Indian Scenario. New Delhi: Indian
Publishers Distributors.
Beck, A.T., & Clark, D.A. (1997). An information processing model of anxiety: Automatic and
strategic processes. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 35, 49–58.
Kendall, P.C. (1994). Treating anxiety disorders in children– results of a randomized clinical-
trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 100–110.