Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
The number of standardized achievement tests that students in the United States are required to take has increased significantly during the past decade. Researchers have found that test anxiety is often a problem related to the increase in testing. This correlational study investigated the relationship between anxiety levels of 50 4th grade students and their standardized test scores. Test anxiety questionnaires and pulse rates were used as a measure of the anxiety level of each of the 4th grade students just before the standardized test was administered, and standardized test scores were used as a measure of academic performance. The data were analyzed using 2 separate Pearson correlations. The first determined the relationship between students' responses on a test anxiety questionnaire and their academic test scores; the second correlation determined the relationship between students' pulse rates and their test scores. The results indicated a significant relationship between the students' levels of test anxiety as measured by pulse rate and performance on the New York State Standardized Science test, but no significant relationship between students' levels of anxiety as measured by the questionnaire. The findings of this study are important to school administrators, teachers, and parents because they could illuminate how test anxiety may impair students' academic performance on standardized tests and thereby mask their true abilities. This study has important implications for positive social change by providing research-based findings that could lead to the development of test anxiety prevention strategies at the local site.