Predictors of test anxiety for students in Asia countries: Results from PISA2015

Magdalena Mo Ching MOK, Jinxin ZHU, Bor-Chen KUO

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Background: Most students have experienced feelings of anxiety and fear of failure before tests. Test anxiety can sometimes help students to perform at their best but excessive anxiety can adversely affect academic performance. Prolonged anxiety has been reported to be associated with poor mental health. Aims: This study aimed to identify predictors of test anxiety of students in Asia countries. The study examined potential predictors of test anxiety including students’ control and value cognitions such as their academic self efficacy, learning motivation, value of science, as well as students’ experiences at school including students’ sense of alienation, classroom discipline, teachers’ fairness, their teaching approaches, and the provision of learning feedback. Method: The sample of this study comprised 53,976 (26,967 male; 49.96%) students from China, Hong Kong Japan, Korea, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand who participated at the PISA 2015 study. Multi-group multilevel structural equation modelling (SEM) was undertaken using MPLUS (version 7.2) to identify stress predictors among the students. Results: Initial analyses found that students from Asia had high academic performance internationally but they also suffered much higher level of test anxiety as compared to their counter parts in the West. There was good fit between the data and the multi-group multilevel SEM model. Females had significantly higher stress than males had across all participating Asia countries. After controlling for student gender, alienation at school and the feeling of unfair teachers were significant stressors for all Asia countries in the study whereas self-efficacy tended to alleviate test anxiety. Copyright © 2017 The Education University of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


Mok, M. C. M., Zhu, J., & Kuo, B.-C. (2017, November). Predictors of test anxiety for students in Asia countries: Results from PISA2015. Paper presented at the WERA Focal Meeting & HKERA International Conference 2017 (WERA-HKERA 2017): Innovation, Reform and Education Change in a Contemporary World, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


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