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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Math-test anxiety and test preparedness Zabek, Stefan Peter Philip

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between math-test anxiety and test preparedness. Initial observation of the literature surrounding math anxiety led to the development of the primary hypothesis of the study: students' math-test anxiety, as measured by a math-test anxiety inventory, is related to their self-reported preparedness for a math test. This study also tested six secondary hypotheses relating to performance, first language, and gender. An adapted version of the Test Anxiety Inventory provided the means to measure math-test anxiety. Knowledge (measured by test performance), math attitude (measured by a math attitude scale), math usefulness (measured by a math usefulness scale), and math self-efficacy (measured by a math self-efficacy scale) provided the framework for test preparedness. To survey high school students, a questionnaire was developed and circulated to eight districts across British Columbia. Three hundred and twenty-two questionnaires (67 percent) were returned. Quantitative data were analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficients, multiple regression analysis, and the independent samples t-test in the SPSS 10.1 Windows software package. Confidence levels for statistically significant figures reported by the package were set at the p < 0.05 level. The following results were found: there was strong evidence (R = 0.531, Rsquare = 0.282 and p < 0.05 ) that preparedness before a test is significantly correlated with math-test anxiety; Strong evidence was found (R = 0.521, Rsquare - 0.271 and p < 0.05) that a student's knowledge and self-efficacy are significantly correlated with his or her last math course mark; moderate evidence was found (r = -0.353, rsquare = 0.125 and p < 0.05) that performance is significantly correlated with math-test anxiety; moderate evidence was found (r = 0.409 , rsquare - .167 and p < 0.05) that a student's performance is significantly correlated with his or her last math course mark; evidence was found that performance (t = -2.817 , d = 0.526 and p < 0.05 ) and math attitude (t = -3.322 , d = 0.490 and p < 0.05) are significantly correlated with first language; There is evidence that math self-efficacy (t = 3.686, d = 0.420 and p < 0.05) is significantly correlated with gender; and, no evidence was found (t = 1.117 and p = 0.269) that first language is significantly correlated with math-test anxiety.

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