Assessing Test Anxiety

There are many ways to measure test anxiety. Some of the symptoms can be observed by the teacher through anxious student behavior or physical symptoms. Talking to students about how the feel about testing can be important and useful too. Below are some official tests used to measure testing anxiety.
The Test Anxiety Scale for Children (TASC) is the most widely used scale to determine student anxiety.
  • The TASC is a pencil-paper test consisting of 30 yes/no questions that ask about testing and student worry. The anxiety score is the number of "yes" responses.
  • To assure the validity of the TASC, tests of student defensiveness are also commonly given at the same time to assure that students are honest about their feelings.
The Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI) is designed to measure individual differences in test anxiety as a situation-specific personality trait.
  • For the TAI, students are asked to indicate the frequency of test anxiety symptoms on a four-point scale.
  • This test is used to measure both total anxiety and the two major components of anxiety: worry (about the outcome of the test) and emotionally (physical reaction).
The Reactions to Tests Scale (RTT) was created to measure each element of test anxiety.
  • The RTT divides test anxiety into four categories: worry, test-irrelevant thoughts, tension, and bodily symptoms.
  • Since this is one of the more recently created tests, there isn't much information about its validity, but the correlation of bodily symptoms is low, suggesting that individual students have very different physical reactions.