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Effects of Recognition and Coping Strategies Related to Stress and Test Anxiety in Gifted 4th Graders

Amanda Travis Simon

Action Research, University of South Florida, 2007.

For a PDF version of the complete paper, click here.

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to share the findings of a three-month project that focused on recognizing and reducing the negative effects of test anxiety on gifted 4th grade students. Test anxiety has been recognized as an inhibitor of test performance among students. It has even been deemed an "invisible disability" (Cheek, Bradley, Reynolds, & Coy, 2002). Its effects on students have been documented across research. Absent in the research, however, are studies specifically related to young gifted students and their perceptions and experiences with test anxiety. This study describes the existence of test anxiety among a self-contained group of 4th grade gifted students, ages 9-10, at a southeastern public school serving intellectually gifted students in grades 2-12. The study discusses specific strategies taught to them to help them recognize the onset and cope with the effects of test anxiety. Pre and post measures were taken using various instruments, and the findings are discussed. The researcher hypothesized that awareness of strategies to cope with test anxiety would help reduce its effects.