Factors associated with medical student test anxiety in objective structured clinical examinations: a preliminary study

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Objectives: To investigate attributes of medical students associated with their test anxiety on Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs). Methods: A cross-sectional study using a self-administered questionnaire was conducted of all Year 3 and 4 students at a private medical school in South Korea in 2014. This 53-item questionnaire consisted of factors pertaining to test anxiety on the OSCE identified from a review of relevant literature, which included students' motivational beliefs and achievement emotions, perceived values of the OSCE, and attitude and orientation towards patients. Participants' test anxiety levels were measured using the Korean Achievement Emotions Questionnaire. Participants rated their responses using a five-point Likert-type scale. Univariate analysis was performed to examine relationships between the variables. Results: A total of 94 students completed the questionnaire (a 93% response rate). No differences in the participants' test anxiety scores were observed across genders, entry-levels, or years in medical school. Participants' test anxiety on the OSCE showed moderate association with their class-related achievement emotions (i.e., anxiety and boredom), where r = 0.46 and 0.32, p < 0.01, respectively, and weak negative associations with their patient-centeredness (r = -0.21, p < 0.05) and with their perceived values of the OSCE (r = -0.21, p < 0.05). Conclusions: This study found some non-cognitive factors related to medical students' test anxiety on the OSCE. These findings have implications for developing effective educational interventions for helping students cope with such a stress by enhancing our understanding of the various factors that influence their test anxiety in OSCEs.




Kim, K. J. (2016). Factors associated with medical student test anxiety in objective structured clinical examinations: a preliminary study. International Journal of Medical Education, 7, 424–427. https://doi.org/10.5116/ijme.5845.caec

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