Examining Feelings of Anxiety Experienced by Secondary Students in L2 Evaluative Situations

  • Marian Amengual Pizarro Universitat de les Illes Balears


The main purpose of this study is to examine the potential impact of self-reported test anxiety on L2 academic achievement. The study sample consisted of eighty-five students from ten different state secondary schools in. Majorca. Data were collected using the Spanish version of the Cognitive Test Anxiety Scale (CTAS). The results show that participants suffer from moderate to high test self-reported anxiety levels, regardless of actual academic English proficiency. The findings reveal a significant effect of participants’ self-reported English proficiency on both general test anxiety, and test anxiety directly related to a high-stakes English test (the Spanish University Entrance Examination, SUEE), suggesting that self-perception of proficiency is a stronger predictor of test anxiety than actual academic grades. Additionally, a significant relationship between gender and self-reported test anxiety on the high-stakes English test was found, which indicates that female students tend to perceive certain exam situations as more personally threatening than males. In contrast, school setting (urban versus suburban) was not directly related to test anxiety.      

Author Biography

Marian Amengual Pizarro, Universitat de les Illes Balears
Marian Amengual-Pizarro is a tenured Senior Lecturer in English in the Spanish, Modern and Classic Philology Department at Universitat de les Illes Balears. She has participated in several national research projects on language testing and L2 teaching funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. She has contributed numerous articles on applied linguistics in various specialized national and international journals.


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