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Title: Exam stress experienced by GCSE students in a mainstream secondary school : perceptions of the effects on wellbeing and performance
Author: Roome, Timothy
ISNI:       0000 0004 7432 4526
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2018
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In the UK education system, an ‘audit culture’ has led to pressures being placed on students to achieve high grades in their GCSEs (Torrance, 2004). It has been suggested that schools are required to achieve good academic results and look after their students’ wellbeing, causing a conflict in relation to public examinations, such as GCSEs (Putwain, 2009). School staff support both performance and wellbeing by preparing students for exams. However, research suggests that there is a danger that many underperform, or are negatively affected (emotionally) by exam stress, or both (Putwain, 2007). The aims of this research were to explore the views of students who had recently taken GCSE exams. The research aimed to gain an understanding of how Year 12 students felt their GCSE experiences affected their wellbeing and performance, what factors contributed to or alleviated their levels of exam stress, and whether theories such as Achievement Goal Theory (Elliot and McGregor, 2001) could be used to explain the individual differences in levels of exam stress. The research questions were explored using semi-structured interviews and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Findings and conclusions provided ways to improve the support for students during their GCSEs, improving academic performance and wellbeing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.App.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools ; LC Special aspects of education