Exam stress experienced by GCSE students in a mainstream secondary school: Perceptions of the effects on wellbeing and performance

Roome, Timothy (2018). Exam stress experienced by GCSE students in a mainstream secondary school: Perceptions of the effects on wellbeing and performance. University of Birmingham. Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.

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In the UK education system, an ‘audit culture’ has led to pressures being placed on students to achieve high grades in their GCSEs (Torrance, 2004). It has been suggested that schools are required to achieve good academic results and look after their students’ wellbeing, causing a conflict in relation to public examinations, such as GCSEs (Putwain, 2009). School staff support both performance and wellbeing by preparing students for exams. However, research suggests that there is a danger that many underperform, or are negatively affected (emotionally) by exam stress, or both (Putwain, 2007).

The aims of this research were to explore the views of students who had recently taken GCSE exams. The research aimed to gain an understanding of how Year 12 students felt their GCSE experiences affected their wellbeing and performance, what factors contributed to or alleviated their levels of exam stress, and whether theories such as Achievement Goal Theory (Elliot and McGregor, 2001) could be used to explain the individual differences in levels of exam stress. The research questions were explored using semi-structured interviews and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Findings and conclusions provided ways to improve the support for students during their GCSEs, improving academic performance and wellbeing.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/8595


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