The relationship between test anxiety and seriousness of errors in algebra

Menucha Birenbaum, Yaffa Gutvirtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the study was to discern via an error analysis the process that underlies the relationship between test anxiety (TA) and mathematics test performance, with gender as a mediator variable. Sarason's RTT questionnaire (as a measure of TA) and a diagnostic test in algebra were administered to 231 junior high school students. Error analysis of the algebra test yielded 35 mal-rules, which were classified into two categories of serious and nonserious errors. The main findings were: (a) TA was related significantly to serious errors and to the total test score, but not to non-serious errors; (b) Students in the low achievement group reported higher levels of TA and committed far more serious errors than students in the high achievement grouping; and (c) The above findings were more pronounced for girls than for boys, yet girls did not differ from boys with respect to achievement grouping and to the measures of test performance. However, girls outscored boys in the emotional component of TA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-19
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychoeducational Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1993


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