The effects of sex, ethnicity, and social class on levels of test anxiety were examined among a sample of 416 adolescent students in Israel. Significant sex differences in mean levels of test anxiety were found, with girls scoring consistently higher than boys across ethnic, social, and grade categories. Pupils of low socioeconomic status (SES) also scored consistently higher than pupils of high SES across grades. Nevertheless, this study provides little support for the commonly held view that sociocultural or sex group differences in school achievement are due, in any meaningful way, to differences in test anxiety. The group differences, though significant for SES and sex, were of negligible magnitude, and the correlation between test anxiety scores and grade point average was minimal for the group as a whole and nonsignificant for students of Eastern background, who have been purported to be particularly affected by high levels of test anxiety. The findings do support other cross-cultural studies, which have found only a modicum of shared variance between test anxiety and grades. It is concluded that test anxiety is not a particularly valid predictor of achievement or ability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies