Writing Test Anxiety

Kerrin Burnell, Oman, ID CLEaR2016-348;     It has been argued that language courses cause more anxiety in students than any other subject (MacIntyre & Gardner, 1991). This study contrasted two types of approaches to determining writing test anxiety and its causes among tertiary Omani students. A quantitative approach to determining anxiety using the Test Anxiety Inventory for Children and Adolescents (TAICA) was compared to a more qualitative one using interviews to determine students emotional and physiological reaction to writing tests. Immediate pre and post exam levels of anxiety were determined by having test takers indicate their level of anxiety on a 10 point scale.

Results indicated that females are more willing to admit to feelings of anxiety, which is in accordance with the literature. Interestingly, test scores did not significantly correlate with anxiety levels. Methods of reducing anxiety such as pre test journaling and flexible test timings are discussed.

Keywords: Anxiety, writing test.