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Test anxiety refers to the set of phenomenological, physiological, and behavioral responses that accompany concern about the possible negative consequences of poor performance in evaluative situations. Test anxiety is typically evoked when a person believes that his or her intellectual, motivational, or social capabilities are being taxed or exceeded by demands stemming from an evaluative encounter. Students who are test anxious are characterized by a particularly low response threshold for anxiety in evaluative situations, tending to view test situations as personally threatening to them.

The continued academic and public interest in test anxiety over the past half-century or so is due, in part, to the increasing personal salience of evaluative situations for people in modern society, making tests and their long-term consequences a significant source of ...

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