Experiences of Test Anxious Undergraduate Students: An Interpretative Phenomenological Study
The current study was conducted to explore test anxious students' lived experiences to understand demands and challenges faced by test anxious students at the university level. A purposive sample comprised of six test anxious undergraduate students was drawn from a public university. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was the main method that was used to assess data. Qualitative interviews were conducted for data collection, and data was transcribed for further analysis. Several emergent themes were generated, and it was attempted to identify the interconnections among them. Common and frequent themes summarized the experiences shared by test anxious students. Worry cognitions, emotional reactions, the preparation phase, the performance phase, and the test reflection phase were the main themes that emerged from the data. Findings revealed that test anxiety influenced students' cognitive as well as their emotional well-being. The study had identified test anxiety as a multifaceted phenomenon with multiple manifestations and provoking factors that influence the preparation, performance, and test reflection phases. The study addressed test anxiety as a real experience that needs to be managed. The study provided an indigenous framework to educationists and psychologists for devising therapeutic interventions for test anxious undergraduate students.
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