A good introduction articulates a clear question and set of hypotheses (null and alternative), justifies why that question warrants research attention, and places that question in the


IntroductionA good introduction articulates a clear question and set of hypotheses (null and alternative), justifies why that question warrants research attention, and places that question in the context of what is already known (your references). At least 5 references are required for the Introduction.

20 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeMethodsAn ideal methods section should accurately describe the sample and procedures, as well as the measures used and any relevant reliability indicators.

20 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeResultsAn ideal results section will report the correct statistical tests for the hypotheses, as well as accurate descriptive data for the sample and measures. It also describes the results of statistical testing (appropriate test statistic values and p-values) and the decisions about the null and alternative hypotheses. At least 1 figure or table is required in your Results section

20 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeDiscussionA good discussion places the results in the context of the larger literature (in this case, a relatively limited set of references), considers the implications of the findings, outlines limitations in the design and their meaning for understanding the findings, and may consider the next important research question.

20 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAPA styleThis criterion focuses on APA style issues – at the macro and micro level. A perfect paper is one with no errors at the macro level (what information is provided in what section), and very few errors in the micro level. Spelling, grammar and the “flow” of the document are also considered in this criterion – an abstract with appropriate information is also required

25 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeRevisionA paragraph summarizing your peer feedback and how you have revised your paper should be included at the very end of your document.

15 pts

Total Points: 120



Test Anxiety and Math

Chengxi He

University of Utah



2.1 Introduction

Millions of people experience test anxiety every day, especially when they believe they will be judged by how well they perform on a test. People who have been conditioned to believe they are incapable of succeeding at the activity at hand may have an especially noticeable increase in anxiety. One domain where this phenomenon is prominent is math exams, where factors like gender differences, math self-concept, preparation, and home environments can significantly influence anxiety levels (Anugrah et al., 2019).

There has been a lot of research into the correlation between gender and math test anxiety. According to research by Owan, 2020, societal prejudices and expectations majorly impact how girls perceive math tests. Girls who have been taught to doubt their mathematical abilities are more likely to experience math anxiety. This emotional weight can be detrimental since students’ academic paths can be permanently altered by their first unfavorable experiences with mathematics (Korem et al., 2020). Despite these challenges, Lu, 2022 finds no substantial gender effect on math exam performance across the board. He underlines the intricate relationship between gender, math anxiety, and academic outcomes and emphasizes the need to investigate the factors contributing to these patterns.

Several strategies have been investigated to mitigate the effects of test anxiety. According to Bujorean, 2019, academic preparation seminars, mindfulness training, and cognitive behavioral therapy can alleviate task-related stress. In addition, Gu, 2021 believes that the detrimental effects of math anxiety on academic performance can be mitigated by cultivating positive self-beliefs, such as math self-efficacy. These interventions highlight the importance of psychological elements in academic success by providing possible avenues to aid students in coping with test anxiety and its potential impact on academic performance.

While there is substantial research on test anxiety and math anxiety, the role of task preparation in influencing task-related anxiety levels has garnered less attention. The current study seeks to fill this gap by investigating whether adequately preparing for a task can mitigate task-related anxiety and potentially enhance academic performance. Building on the existing literature, we aim to explore how preparation interacts with factors like gender to influence anxiety levels. The research question is: “Does preparing for a task influence people’s task-related anxiety?” The null hypothesis (Ho) for this study is: “There is no significant relationship between task preparation and task-related anxiety levels among individuals,” while the alternative hypothesis (Ha) is: “Task preparation significantly influences task-related anxiety levels among individuals.”

2.2 Methods

2.2.1 Participants

Our study involved a total of 94 participants recruited from a psychology statistics and experiments class at the University of Utah. The sample comprised 46 men, 46 women, and 2 nonbinary individuals. In terms of racial distribution, 70 participants identified as White/Caucasian, 5 as Asian/Pacific Islander, 13 as Hispanic/Latino, 1 as African American, 1 as Native American, and 4 as ‘Other.’ The age of the participants ranged from 17 to 86, with a mean age of 33.92 years.

2.2.2 Measures

To collect data, we used a Qualtrics survey to obtain responses from our participants. The survey had two primary parts: general demographic questions and some math-related questions intended to be difficult to provoke anxiety responses. By incorporating math-related questions, we aimed to gauge participants ‘level of test anxiety when facing mathematically challenging academic tasks. The dependent variable for this survey was the participants’ test anxiety levels, which we evaluated based on their responses to the math-related questions. Through this approach, we aimed to gain insights into the relationship between task preparation and task-related anxiety, particularly in the domain of math exams. Qualtrics’s survey platform made collecting data and running analyses easy, thus understanding the relationship between preparation and anxiety responses effectively.

2.2.3 Procedures

Participants were asked to complete the Qualtrics surveys, which were available online. Qualtrics surveys are efficient for data collection and organization (Ginn, 2019). The survey was thoughtfully designed to elicit honest responses from participants regarding their anxiety levels, specifically during the task, and their perceived level of preparedness for it. We designed the survey in this way to learn about the participants’ actual experiences with task-related anxiety and the role that prior preparation played in influencing that anxiety. The survey’s online structure made it convenient and accessible for respondents by allowing them to take it at their own leisure and from any place they preferred. The success of our study hinged on the accuracy and depth of the information we would be able to glean from our participants, so we made sure they felt safe and secure discussing their anxiety and preparations. The information provided by the participants was stored securely and could be retrieved if needed for analysis. The study aimed to obtain a comprehensive understanding of whether preparation influences task-related anxiety levels, and the procedures were carefully designed to gather valuable data on this relationship. By encouraging participants to provide honest and authentic responses, we sought to obtain a detailed understanding of the psychological dynamics involved in task preparation and task-related anxiety.

3.1 Results

This research aimed to examine the relationship between “task preparation” and “task-related anxiety.” The study’s hypotheses were, “Null hypothesis (Ho): There is no significant relationship between task preparation and task related anxiety levels and Alternate hypothesis (Ha): Task preparation significantly influences task related anxiety levels among individuals.” “The study involved 94 participants, including 46 men, 46 women, and 2 nonbinary individuals, recruited from a psychology statistics and experiments class at the University of Utah.” The participants’ average age was 33.92 years, with ages ranging from 17 to 86. A Qualtrics survey with math-related questions meant to elicit anxiety reactions was used to gauge task-related anxiety levels.

A t-test was used to identify the relationship between task preparation and task-related anxiety levels between those who prepared for an exam and those who prepared for a quiz, as shown in Tables 1 and 2 below. The findings demonstrated that anxiety levels were substantially higher for participants in the “exam” condition (M = 2.8450, SD = 0.67298) than for those in the “quiz” condition (M = 2.5000, SD = 0.65912). The t-test revealed a significant difference between the two conditions (t(92) =2.504, p=0.007). A p-value of 0.007 is below .05, which is the significant level. A p-value below .05 suggests rejecting the null hypothesis (Chalmer, 2020). We therefore rejected the null hypothesis that “There is no significant relationship between task preparation and task related anxiety levels.” These results indicate that task preparation had an impact on anxiety levels.

Group Statistics




Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

Anxiety score











Table 1: Anxiety levels of exam and quiz

Independent Samples Test

Levene’s Test for Equality of

Variances t-test for Equality of Means

F Sig. t df

Significance One-Sided p

Anxiety score Equal variances assumed

Equal variances not

.058 .811 2.504 92 .007

2.499 88.683 .007


Table 2: Independent samples test

Results from the independent sample effect sizes in Table 3 below show a Cohen’s d value of .66549, which is positive. A positive Cohen’s d value shows that participants in the “exam” condition had more anxiety than those in the “quiz” condition. “A Cohen’s d value of 0.66549 indicates that the average anxiety score for participants in the “exam” condition is roughly 0.67 standard deviations higher than the average anxiety score for participants in the “quiz” condition.” This effect size suggests a moderate difference in anxiety levels between the two groups (Phylactou et al., 2022). In addition, considering the variations in sample sizes, a positive Hedges’ correction value suggests a modest difference in anxiety levels between individuals who prepared for a quiz and those who prepared for an exam. Lastly, a positive Glass’s delta value (0.65912) suggests that the average anxiety score for participants in the “exam” condition is approximately 0.66 standard deviations higher than the sample standard deviation of the “quiz” condition group.


Point Estimate

95% Confidence


ce Interval


Anxiety score Cohen’s d





Hedges’ correction





Glass’s delta





Table 3: Independent sample effect sizes anxiety score

The study’s findings provide empirical evidence that participants who engaged in adequate preparation for a quiz reported lower anxiety scores than those who prepared for an exam. This outcome can be explained by the fact that quizzes often only cover a small fraction of the course material, making preparation easier to manage and less stressful, and it may also give students more confidence in their ability to understand a smaller number of topics, thus reducing anxiety. Exams, on the other hand, encompass a wider range of material and call for students to examine numerous topics, chapters, or units (Öchsner et al., 2021). The sheer amount of material that needs to be covered could make students anxious, especially if they feel underprepared to handle the breadth of material, leading to increased anxiety levels. These findings suggest that thorough preparation can be a valuable coping mechanism to mitigate task-related stress.

3.2 Discussion

The study’s results that “there is a significant relationship between task preparation and task related anxiety levels,” are consistent with earlier studies that highlighted the significance of preparation in influencing task-related anxiety. By showing that individuals who adequately prepared for a task had lower anxiety scores, our results reinforce the idea that thorough preparation can effectively mitigate anxiety levels in an academic context. Additionally, by specifically examining the connection between task preparation and anxiety levels in the context of math tests, our work adds to the existing literature. Math anxiety is a prevalent issue that can significantly impact academic performance (Pizzie et al., 2019). This study’s results highlight the importance of preparation, particularly when facing math-related tasks. By shedding light on this specific domain, our research provides valuable insights for educators and policymakers in developing targeted interventions to address math anxiety and promote effective preparation strategies among students. Students may benefit greatly from targeted interventions that emphasize developing optimistic self-beliefs, such as math self-efficacy, to better manage math test difficulties.

This study’s results’ significance highlights the need for ongoing research into the intricate relationships between preparation, anxiety, and academic performance. Future research might delve more into the factors that affect preparation strategy success and investigate the potential effects of various preparation techniques on anxiety levels in various academic environments. Additionally, examining the long-term effects of anxiety and preparedness on academic trajectories can provide insightful information about the possible long-term effects of these factors on students’ educational outcomes. By further exploring this area, researchers can gain a deeper knowledge of how preparation might be used to reduce task-related stress and improve academic success.

Nevertheless, despite the significance of the study’s findings, this study has some limitations. The sample size used was small and restricted to a single university class, which may limit the data’s generalizability to a larger population. The study also used self-report measures, which may have been vulnerable to subjectivity or response bias. Future research in this field should attempt to replicate the study using bigger and more varied samples to enhance the findings’ generalizability. Additionally, using objective measurements of anxiety, such as physiological reactions, may offer more thorough explanations of the connection between task-related anxiety and preparation.

The findings of this study have implications for interventions and educational practices. Educators and policymakers should consider incorporating effective preparation strategies into curricula to help students cope with task-related anxiety and enhance their academic performance. By addressing anxiety in academic environments, students may get better academic results in courses like mathematics.

3.3 Conclusion

This study provides strong evidence that task preparation is a critical factor influencing people’s task-related anxiety. The study demonstrates that higher levels of preparation are associated with lower anxiety, highlighting the importance of adequately preparing for academic tasks. Effective study techniques can help students succeed academically by reducing task-related stress, especially in math tests where anxiety can negatively affect performance. These results have significant implications for educators and policymakers, highlighting the need for focused interventions that encourage efficient preparation strategies among students. By providing students with the assistance needed for exam preparation, educational institutions can support students in better coping with anxiety and maximizing their performance. By highlighting the critical role of preparation in managing anxiety, this research establishes a foundation for developing evidence-based interventions to reduce task-related anxiety and improve overall academic achievement.


Anugrah, T. M., Kusmayadi, T. A., & Fitriana, L. (2019). Mathematics anxiety in dealing with math exams. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1157, 032101. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1157/3/032101

Bujorean, E. (2019). School motivation, cognitive strategies, and test anxiety in the school performance. The European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2017.05.02.140

Chalmer, B. J. (2020). Hypothesis testing. Understanding Statistics, 101–111. https://doi.org/10.1201/9780367813161-6

Ginn, J. (2019). Qualtrics: Retrieve Survey data using the Qualtrics API. Journal of Open Source Software, 3(27), 688. https://doi.org/10.21105/joss.00688

Gu, H. (2021). Mental health in Chinese international students: The relationship between test anxiety, anxiety levels and coping strategies. 2021 2nd Asia-Pacific Conference on Image Processing, Electronics and Computers. https://doi.org/10.1145/3452446.3452732

Korem, N., & Rubinsten, O. (2020). How Do Working Memory, General Anxiety and Math Anxiety Affect Female Students’ Math Performance? https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/dbp7t

Lu, P. (2022). Examining gender gap in mathematics: Role of math anxiety. Proceedings of the 2022 AERA Annual Meeting. https://doi.org/10.3102/1899027

Öchsner, M., & Öchsner, A. (2021). Exams, tests, and quizzes. Advanced LaTeX in Academia, 171–189. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-88956-2_5

Owan, V. J. (2020). Effects of gender, test anxiety, and test items scrambling on students’ performance in mathematics: A quasi-experimental study. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3660167

Phylactou, P., & Konstantinou, N. (2022). Bayesian T-Test Sample Size Determination:  Reference Tables for Various Bayes Factor Thresholds, Effect Sizes, Sample Sizes, and Variance Assumptions. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/jnp8c

Pizzie, R., & Kraemer, D. (2019). Strategies for Remediating the Impact of Math Anxiety on High School Math Performance. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/ye526

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