Test anxiety and achievement testing: Cognitive interference of skills deficit

James P Browne, Pace University

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of test anxiety and prior academic achievement on performance on two different standardized achievement tests. The goal is to investigate competing predictions of the "interference" and "deficit" explanations of test anxiety. The long standing "interference" hypothesis assumes that anxiety interferes with cognitive processing during testing. The competing "deficit" hypothesis suggests that the poor performance of test anxious examinees is attributable to skill deficits and not test anxiety. This study examined the performance of 402 participants (164 males and 268 females) on both a reading comprehension test and a mathematics test when the effects of both test anxiety and prior achievement were controlled. Results suggest that the cognitive interference associated with test anxiety (i.e., worrying), prior academic achievement, and gender contribute independently to performance. Findings are discussed both in terms of their implications for test anxiety theory and the practice of school psychology. ^

Subject Area

Education, Tests and Measurements|Education, Educational Psychology

Recommended Citation

James P Browne, "Test anxiety and achievement testing: Cognitive interference of skills deficit" (January 1, 1991). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI9112974.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI9112974

Share

COinS

Remote User: Click Here to Login (must have Pace University remote login ID and password. Once logged in, click on the View More link above)