Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exam anxiety may lead to better grades

Date:
October 11, 2012
Source:
British Psychological Society (BPS)
Summary:
Taking academic tests can be a stressful time for some young people and especially for those with a history of elevated anxiety. However a new study shows that anxiety only has a negative effect on test results if memory is also poor. Furthermore if memory is good, increased anxiety is associated with attaining better marks.

Taking academic tests can be a stressful time for some young people and especially for those with a history of elevated anxiety. However a study published today (12 October 2012) in the British Journal of Psychology shows that anxiety only has a negative effect on test results if memory is also poor.. Furthermore if memory is good, increased anxiety is associated with attaining better marks.

In this study 96 school students aged between 12 and 14, from several schools, completed measures of anxiety and working memory, using computer tests. Good working memory predicts educational attainment. The students were then tested for cognitive ability and maths performance.

It was found that when working memory was poor, increased anxiety was associated with low test scores. When working memory was good, anxiety was associated with higher test results.

Dr Matthew Owens, a researcher at the University of Cambridge (who carried out the study while at the University of Southampton) said: "The research is exciting because it enhances our knowledge of when, specifically, anxiety can have a negative impact on taking tests. The findings also suggest that there are times when a little bit of anxiety can actually motivate you to succeed."

The researchers hope that their project will lead to more understanding of the impact of elevated anxiety on academic testing in young people. Given that anywhere between 10 per cent and 40 per cent* of children are affected by anxiety around taking tests, support offered in schools could be targeted in the first instance to those who are at highest risking of poor outcomes.

The study was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Action Medical Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by British Psychological Society (BPS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Matthew Owens, Jim Stevenson, Julie A. Hadwin, Roger Norgate. When does anxiety help or hinder cognitive test performance? The role of working memory capacity. British Journal of Psychology, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/bjop.12009

Cite This Page:

British Psychological Society (BPS). "Exam anxiety may lead to better grades." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121011195239.htm>.
British Psychological Society (BPS). (2012, October 11). Exam anxiety may lead to better grades. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121011195239.htm
British Psychological Society (BPS). "Exam anxiety may lead to better grades." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121011195239.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins