Children’s perceptions of tests: a content analysis
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KünyeBulgan, G. (February 4, 2018). Children’s perceptions of tests: A content analysis. European Journal of Educational Research, 7(2), 159-167. doi: 10.12973/eu-jer.7.2.159
Anxiety that students experience during test taking negatively influences their academic achievement. Understanding how students perceive tests and how they feel during test taking could help in taking effective preventive measures. Hence, the current study focused on assessing children’s perceptions of tests using content analysis. The sample consisted of 1143 participants (566 females and 570 males) attending 3rd (n = 320), 4th (n = 420), 5th (n = 197), and 6th (n = 206) grade classes in three public schools in Istanbul, Turkey. The findings indicated that three main domains emerged from the data. The domains and the categories under each domain were as follows: evaluation (grades, success vs. failure, learning and development, and intelligence), emotions (excitement, fear and anxiety, happiness, curiosity, mixed feelings, and disappointment), and experiential process (answering questions, studying, difficulty, thinking, having fun, cheating vs. honesty, and silence). Understanding students’ experiences with testing early on in their education will give researchers and practitioners the chance to plan effective applications for treatment and prevention, which would influence students’ future achievement and experiences. The study findings could also help teachers and school counselors plan more effective teaching and counseling programs that take into account students’ anxiety levels during tests.