Essential Academic Skills Second Edition
Edited by Kathy Turner, Brenda Krenus, Lynette Ireland and Leigh Pointon
Oxford University Press 2011
© THIS SAMPLE ESSAY IS COPYRIGHT OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 2011. DISTRIBUTION AND COPYING IS PROHIBITED.
Topic: Test anxiety causes university students to underperform in their examinations. Discuss.
Note: The essay is in the left column. In the right-hand column are short notes indicating which academic writing skills are being used in the essay, and page references for the textbook.
General statement 151)
This essay examines the relationship between test anxiety in university students INTRODUCTION
and their performance in examinations. Typically, universities use examinations of the essay topic (p. to test part or even all the knowledge of students, particularly in first-year
courses. As Burns (2004, p. 120) noted, examination results can determine if a Background from student passes a course or can progress onto further study, and may even the literature (p. 151) influence employment opportunities. Understandably, educators are concerned
Sentence(s) to link the essay
that examinations are a fair indication of a student’s knowledge. One area of the background into special interest is the role anxiety plays in relation to examination performance. This essay argues that in general, test anxiety lowers performance slightly, STATEMENT although this is not evident in all situations, nor with all types of students. position (pp. 152–3) Further, it is argued that the main mechanism for this result appears to be that test anxiety leads to the development of interfering thoughts, which prevent a proper focus on examination tasks. The essay also points out that although many factors impact on examination performance, test anxiety is of particular interest as it appears to lead directly to unfair results. Test anxiety is normally understood as a...