Test Anxiety Among Health Profession Students: A Cross-Sectional Survey at Fatima College of Health Sciences in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Author(s): Salwa B. El-Sobkey, Shaik Balkhis Banu, Emne Hammoud, Suliman Salih, Monika Sachdeva, Noon Kamil, Aisha Namshan Aldawsari, Scott Cottam

Background: Test anxiety (TA) affects students before and/or during exams and has become an incremental worldwide phenomenon.

Objectives: This study aimed to measure the TA intensity for health profession students (HPSs) at the Fatima College of Health Sciences (FCHS) at Al Ain Campus, UAE, and to recognize demographic and academic correlative and/or associated factors.

Methods: A three-section questionnaire was used to collect data including the HPSs’ demographic and academic characteristics as well as to collect their response to the achievement anxiety test (AAT). This AAT assesses the intensity of TA and determines two independent subscales of debilitating and facilitating patterns of this TA. The HPSs were recruited from five departments at the FCHS to voluntarily participate in the study.

Results: The number of students who participated in the study was 215 from all academic levels. The results revealed that out of 95 points, the mean total AAT score was 57.2 points (60.2%), with no significant difference among departments; the debilitating independent subscale had 31.9%, and the facilitating independent subscale had 28.3%. All the studied academic factors and two of the studied personal factors showed a significant correlation with AAT scores.

Interpretation: The HPSs at FCHS, Al-Ain Campus had a moderate TA intensity level, and almost half of this TA is of the good facilitating type that encourages and motivates students to study and prepare well for their exams. Senior students with high college entry grades, high GPA in the previous semester, high CGPA, a lower average course load per semester, living in a villa, and having family social support had significantly lower AAT scores.

Conclusions: The HPSs at FCHS have a comparatively lower TA intensity than other health colleges in the UAE and Gulf region. Different academic and demographic factors showed a significant correlation with AAT scores.

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