Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 43–61 | Cite as

Social and personal predictors of test anxiety among Norwegian secondary and postsecondary students

  • Christian Brandmo
  • Ivar BråtenEmail author
  • Olav Schewe


This study examined predictors of test anxiety in a sample of 2528 Norwegian upper-secondary and postsecondary students by means of structural equation modeling. Results showed that personal goals related to career and grades positively predicted test anxiety, whereas self-efficacy beliefs were a negative predictor of test anxiety. In turn, participants’ personal goals and self-efficacy beliefs were predicted by perceived family expectation and gender and, thus, mediated the effects of those variables on test anxiety. Specifically, academic expectations from students’ families had an indirect positive effect on test anxiety mediated by career goal and an indirect negative effect on test anxiety mediated by self-efficacy beliefs, and gender indirectly affected test anxiety through self-efficacy beliefs (with females displaying lower self-efficacy beliefs than males). Finally, both family expectation and gender also had direct effects on test anxiety. The unique contribution of this large scale study is highlighted and theoretical and educational implications are discussed.


Test anxiety Family expectation Gender Personal goals Self-efficacy beliefs 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Special Needs EducationUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of EducationUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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