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Title: A sample of post 16 students' experiences of examination stress, coping and study habits, in an inner city college
Author: Mehrzad, Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 0049
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2006
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The research study explored a sample of Post 16 students' experience of examination stress, coping, and study habits, in an inner city college, which includes a 6th Form College and a Vocational College. The sample size was a total of 80 students, 42 from the 6th Form College and 38 from the Vocational college; male students (29), female students( 5 1); divided into four ethnic groups, Asian, Black, White, Other. Students' college and personal pressures were also investigated. Although adopting primarily a quantitative approach this study was supplemented by a qualitative approach which explored, through student interviews, 'what's at stake T for students in taking important end of year examinations, their specific examination stressors, coping responses and study habits. Seminal and more recent research findings on examination stress and coping were confirmed. Personality variables, for example, trait anxiety or anxiety proneness, leads to increased examinations tress.E motion focused coping, particularly accepting responsibility,i .e ., self blame, and escape/avoidance leads to increased examination stress. In this study, poor study habits were not correlated with examination stress. Students utilise a range of coping responses both problem and emotion focused. Female students generally demonstrate more examination stress than male students. Analysis of the data indicated a marginally significant difference between the students following the academic route, i. e., the 6th Form College, and students following the vocational route, i. e., the Vocational College, on emotionality, with a tendency for the academic group to show more emotionality. There were no significant differences between the academic and vocational groups on test anxiety, worry, trait, or state anxiety (examination stress) or on problem focused ways of coping or study habits. Age was not associated with examination stress but had a moderate negative correlation with one coping dimension, accepting responsibility or self blame. There were no gender effects in ways of coping. Ethnicity differences were found, for example, the vocational group had a significantly higher number of Black students than the academic group. In the total student group, the White group showed significantly higher trait anxiety and the Asian group showed significantly more self controlling than the Other group. There were no gender or ethnicity differences with study habits. Unexpected findings indicated significant differences between the academic and the vocational groups on two emotion-focused ways of coping with a tendency for the academic group to show more accepting responsibility or self blame and the vocational group to show more distancing or cognitive efforts to detach themselves and minimise the significance of the examination. There was an association between test anxiety, emotionality, worry and state anxiety (examination stress), and between effective study habits and problem focused ways of coping. A number of specific college pressures and personal pressures, as well as pressures at the interface of college and home, were identified. Content analysis of student interviews indicated that the achievement of the appropriate grades for university was closely aligned to the maintenance of self esteem or psychological well being, that is, self worth and the achievement of the appropriate grades were intertwined. Students had a repertory of coping responses and study habits to address their specific examination pressures. Underpinning this activity was a strong sense of cognitive activity, that is, negative worry ruminations relating to feeling judged, pleasing others or not letting oneself or others down. The thesis concludes with recommendation for both educational psychology practice and mainstream educational practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available