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J Chiropr Educ. 2014 Spring;28(1):2-8. doi: 10.7899/JCE-13-20. Epub 2013 Dec 18.

Test anxiety and academic performance in chiropractic students.


Objective : We assessed the level of students' test anxiety, and the relationship between test anxiety and academic performance. Methods : We recruited 166 third-quarter students. The Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI) was administered to all participants. Total scores from written examinations and objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) were used as response variables. Results : Multiple regression analysis shows that there was a modest, but statistically significant negative correlation between TAI scores and written exam scores, but not OSCE scores. Worry and emotionality were the best predictive models for written exam scores. Mean total anxiety and emotionality scores for females were significantly higher than those for males, but not worry scores. Conclusion : Moderate-to-high test anxiety was observed in 85% of the chiropractic students examined. However, total test anxiety, as measured by the TAI score, was a very weak predictive model for written exam performance. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that replacing total anxiety (TAI) with worry and emotionality (TAI subscales) produces a much more effective predictive model of written exam performance. Sex, age, highest current academic degree, and ethnicity contributed little additional predictive power in either regression model. Moreover, TAI scores were not found to be statistically significant predictors of physical exam skill performance, as measured by OSCEs.

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