Test Anxiety and Perfectionism in University Students

Daisy Vanstone, Richard E. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearch


The pressure to perform well in university exams can lead to high test anxiety, resulting in increased attrition rates amongst first year university students. Spielberger and Vagg’s (1995) transactional process model of test anxiety specifies that individuals with specific personality traits (e.g., perfectionism) possess cognitive biases, which influence their perceptions of testing situations as stressful. However, research comparing the level of test anxiety experienced by individuals with perfectionism compared to individuals with non-perfectionism have revealed inconsistent results. Thus, the current study sought to address this inconsistency, by clarifying the relationships of anxiety with different forms of perfectionism. Participants (148), first year students from south-east Queensland universities, completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale - 21, Almost Perfect Scale - Revised, Test Anxiety Inventory, Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, and a demographic questionnaire. Consistent with theory, an Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that students with adaptive perfectionism and maladaptive perfectionism experienced significantly different levels of test anxiety. However, an unexpected finding was that no significant difference was found between individuals with maladaptive
perfectionism and non-perfectionism. Implications for further research and for treatment interventions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event16th Australian Conference on Personality & Individual Differences: Advances and Challenges in Personality and Individual Differences – Theories and Applications - Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 6 Dec 20188 Dec 2018
Conference number: 16th


Conference16th Australian Conference on Personality & Individual Differences
Abbreviated titleACPID 2018
CityGold Coast
OtherBond University's Faculty of Society & Design is pleased to host the 16th Australian Conference on Personality & Individual Differences (ACPID 2018) on the Gold Coast, Australia. Bond University last hosted the ACPID conference in 2008. The theme for 2018, a decade later, is on ' Advances and Challenges in Personality and Individual Differences – Theories and Applications '. The main objective of the conference is to share the advances and challenges you have seen (or hope to see), as researchers, postgraduate students, practising professionals, educators, administrators and creative thinkers interested in increasing our understanding of personality and individual differences and their impacts.
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