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Introduction

‘Test anxiety’ refers to the set of phenomenological, physiological, and behavioural responses that accompany concern about possible negative consequences or failure on an examination or similar evaluative situation (Zeidner, 1998). ‘Test anxious’ students are characterized by a particularly low response threshold for anxiety in evaluative situations, tending to view test situations as personally threatening. They tend to react with extensive worry, mental disorganization, tension, and physiological arousal when exposed to evaluative situations (Spielberger & Vagg, 1995). Test anxiety is often accompanied by maladaptive cognitions such as threat perceptions, feelings of reduced self-efficacy, anticipatory failure attributions, and coping through self-criticism (e.g. Matthews et al., 1999). A widely accepted definition proposed by Spielberger (e.g. 1980) construes test anxiety as a situation-specific personality trait. ‘Test anxiety’ may also ...

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