Study examines how test anxiety can affect quality of sleep

At the University of Kansas, a group of experts examined the relationship between test and anxiety and poor sleep.

Released in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, the biopsychosocial process of test anxiety affecting sleep quality, subsequently resulting in poor academic performance was investigated among nearly 160 participants.

In the study, the participants were enrolled in a statistics course within the University of Kansas, having been administered Sleep Mood Study Diaries before taking an exam.

“We looked at test anxiety to determine whether that did predict who passed, and it was a predictor,” said Nancy Hamilton, the study’s lead author.

“It was a predictor even after controlling for students’ past performance and increased the likelihood of students failing in class. When you look at students who are especially anxious, it was almost a five-point difference in their score over students who had average levels of anxiety.”

The study demonstrated how sleep and anxiety can intersect, thus resulting in poor academic performance.

For future research, the research group aims to investigate test anxiety and poor sleep among a more diverse group of students, while also studying its impacts on distant learning.

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