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Utilizing Videotaped Self-Modeling and Functional Attributional Styles to Build Test-Taking Skills

Reattribution training in tandem with videotaped self-modeling of appropriate test-taking strategies resulted in test anxious students feeling more at ease and confident in a testing situation.

By Shahrokh R. Shahroozi

Abstract

For years, researchers have detailed the effects of test anxiety on students and how high stakes testing situations have exacerbated the problem. Existing treatment options for students with debilitating levels of test anxiety include progressive muscle relaxation, systematic desensitization, and reattribution training. In this study, reattribution training in tandem with videotaped self-modeling of appropriate test-taking strategies was employed and their effects on participants were analyzed. Qualitative data was collected through a series of videotaped interviews, open-ended surveys, and two videotaped testing sessions. Quantitative data was collected using an anxiety rating scale (pre and post treatment) and analyzed using a paired samples t-test. It was hypothesized that the participants would report feeling more positively about their test-taking experience as a result of the treatment. Post-treatment results suggest that test anxious students felt more at ease and confident in a testing situation, whereas non-anxious students reported little to no benefit.

Test anxiety is a phenomenon that has been studied in the field of education since the late 1950s. It is defined as a problem that often interferes with or impairs people's capacity to think, plan, and perform on tests. Students with test anxiety feel tense, fearful, and worried in evaluative situations (Spielberger & Vagg, 1995) and do not perform optimally on tests (Hancock, 2001) (See Figure 1). Test-anxious students do not perform well on standardized achievement tests (Everson, Millsap & Rodriguez, 1991), receive poorer grades (Chapell et al., 2005), and are more likely to be retained (Beidel & Turner, 1988) and to drop out of school (Tobias, 1979). The current emphasis placed on high-stakes testing in American public schools has led to increased pressure on students to perform. With increasing numbers of families wanting their children to have access to programs such as GATE (Gifted and Talented Education), it is the children who feel the burden to become eligible (Zuriff, 1997). This pressure may lead to maladaptive behaviors, especially in children with disabilities (Fremont, 2003). These behaviors include, but are not limited to, acting out in class and school avoidance. As test anxiety interferes with student performance and emotional health, in addition to causing school avoidance, it has become imperative that school professionals acknowledge the severity of the problem and dispatch school psychologists to intervene (Zuriff, 1997).

A large body of research informs our understanding of test anxiety and outlines techniques that can be applied to the condition. Of note are Johnson's (2007) findings, which reported improved classroom achievement and lowered student levels of test anxiety (self-reported) through the combined use of progressive muscle relaxation and systematic desensitization. Another potentially helpful method for treating test anxiety is “Self as a Model,” which was first proposed by Alcantara (1994) and elaborated on by Buggey (1995). This approach has achieved great success in teaching social skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Asperger's Syndrome (AS), and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Additionally, over the past 20 years, researchers have found that videotaped self-modeling, in which the subject views himself/herself performing an appropriate social skill successfully, has resulted in generalization to other settings (Bellini, 2007).

Figure 1. Test anxiety model by Spielberger & Vagg, 1995.

Figure 1. Test anxiety model by Spielberger & Vagg, 1995. 

Another important consideration in the discussion of test anxiety is the concept of attribution. Attribution is a social psychological term that refers to how people explain causes of events, the behavior of other people, as well as their own behavior (Heider, 1958). In general, people can attribute success or failure to one of four things: luck, ability, effort, and difficulty. Moreover, Weiner (1985), a widely respected authority on attribution theory and its application to education, asserted that all causes for success or failure can be categorized within the three dimensions of locus (internal or external), stability, and controllability. Attribution theory plays a role in the lives of students as they seek to justify their performance on various tasks (Heider, 1958). Many of the studies that investigate this theory report students with academic challenges attribute their early failures to a lack of ability rather than effort. This is generally explained as a result of students believing that no amount of effort can overcome a deficient in ability (Whyte, 1978). By helping children with disabilities such as ASD and ADHD re-evaluate their attributions, large gains in personal and academic growth are possible (Johnson, 2007).

Though research in the area of test anxiety has unearthed many important findings and possible treatment avenues, to date none have examined the effectiveness of video self-modeling and reattribution training in reducing test anxiety symptoms. Moreover, existing interventions place little priority on the target individual's attention and motivation, two requisites for successful behavioral change (Bandura, 1994). Finally, the extant literature on the topic is devoid of meaningful qualitative feedback from students regarding their feelings about tests and associated pressures.

Method 

Site Selection and Overview

The research site for the study was the UCI Child Development Center (CDC), which is one of four national Attention Deficit Disorder Centers established by the U.S. Department of Education to identify appropriate assessment and intervention methods offered in a standard school environment. In 1991, the CDC was selected by the National Institute of Mental Health as one of six sites in a national multi-modal treatment study of children with ADHD. The school staff consults with local public schools and offers scientifically supported treatments for children with ADHD and related problems.

Participants  

The participants for this study were five students from the Child Development Center's third and fourth grade and fifth and sixth grade combination classrooms. The five students were identified only by their pseudonyms: Student #1, #2, #3, and so forth. Student #1 was a 12-year-old male in the sixth grade with a diagnosis of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Generalized Anxiety. He presented with a history of limited academic production, poor writing skills, low self-esteem, and performance anxiety. Student #2 was a 10-year-old male in the 4th grade with diagnoses of ADHD and a sleep disorder. He had challenges with low self-esteem and motivation. Student #3 was a 10-year-old male in the fourth grade with diagnoses of ADHD combined type and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). This student had a history of distractibility, low work-productivity, and dependence on assistance. Student #4 was a 12-year-old female in the sixth grade with a diagnosis ADHD and an Anxiety Disorder. She experienced difficulties sustaining attention, completing work, and regulating mood (social anxiety). Student #5 was an 11-year-old female in the fifth grade with a diagnosis Asperger's syndrome. She had a history of non-compliance, low-work productivity, and social anxiety.

Procedures

In a mixed-methods and exploratory study, pre- and post-treatment quantitative and qualitative data were collected through a series of interviews, anxiety rating scales, and two videotaped testing sessions.

Initially, the students were asked to complete the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC). The students were then asked questions pertaining to: (a) how they thought test anxiety affected their test performance, (b) what their perceived levels of test anxiety were, (c) what effect the training sessions had on their levels of anxiety, (d) what their feelings were before, during, and after a test, and (e) what were their current means of dealing with anxious thoughts and feelings.

A week following the interview each student was given a math, writing, or reading comprehension exam. These exams were chosen after their teachers gave input on what they perceived to be each student's most challenging subject. The behavior of the participants was observed and videotaped both before and after the intervention. Each student took part in a debriefing session during which they identified their behaviors that they thought were helpful and/or unhelpful when taking a test. Their responses were recorded and used to help discover positive and/or negative effects of test anxiety, reattribution training and videotaped self-modeling. Their responses were also used to help formulate new and more challenging questions that may need further study. The interviews lasted approximately 30-45 minutes. Interviews were separated into three segments and pre-intervention, mid-intervention, and post-intervention data was obtained and utilized to make comparisons. Conducting two testing sessions also allowed for pre and post-intervention data comparisons. The intent of these interviews was to capture participants' perceptions of the effects of test anxiety on their testing performance, types of behaviors elicited as a result of test anxiety, and effects of the videotaped self-modeling social skills intervention on their test taking behaviors. Following the interviews, participants were given reattribution training, taught test taking strategies (through videotaped self-modeling), and interviewed for their perceived responses to the sessions. During the counseling sessions, the students were individually shown 2-3 minute video montages of their behaviors, including behaviors that were conducive to their performance during the initial examination as well as those which detracted from their performance. At the conclusion of these viewings, the researcher queried the students about their thoughts as they were engaged in the behaviors and worked through the test.

Measures

Anxiety. The Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC) is a self-report instrument that was developed with the goal of identifying and collecting data on a cross-section of anxiety symptoms that are present in anxious youth. It was used as a pre/post measure to determine the efficacy of the study's interventions to treat test anxiety. The MASC consists of 39 items distributed across four scales (Physical Symptoms, Harm Avoidance, Social Anxiety, and Separation/Panic—three of which have subscales); a scale measuring Total Anxiety, and two major indexes (Anxiety Disorders and Inconsistency). The MASC utilizes a four-point, Likert-style format in which respondents are asked to rate each item with respect to their own experience. The response options range from “0” for “Never true about me” to “3” for “Often true about me.” Analyses showed that the measure possesses high validity and reliability with a Test-Retest Reliability Coefficient of 0.93 over two separate periods of 3 weeks and 3 months. For the purposes of this study the Social Anxiety Scale (Performance raw scores) and the Total Anxiety Index were used in gauging whether or not the chosen interventions resulted in a significant reduction in symptoms of performance and overall anxiety.

Data Analysis Techniques

The MASC anxiety rating scales were compiled during two periods (pre- and post-treatment) and t-scores related to overall and performance anxiety were compared over the course of three weeks using paired-samples t-tests. To establish the patterns and themes necessary to answer the research questions, observations and interviews were coded categorically. The first and second test observations were given the following codes and, hereafter, will be referred to by their acronyms: positive coping strategy (PCS), negative coping strategy (CS), non-related behavior (NRB), test anxious behavior (TAB), other anxious behavior (OAB), mental coping strategy (MCS), physical coping strategy (PCS), applying attribution strategy (AAS), shift to positive strategy PSS), shift to negative strategy (NSS), no shift in strategy (ZSS), facilitating anxiety (FA), debilitating anxiety (DA), and latency (L).

The three interview sessions were given the following codes and will also be referred to by their acronyms: acknowledged shift in behavior, (ASB), video related shift in behavior (VRSB), facilitating anxiety (FA), debilitating anxiety (DA), externalizing attribution (EA), internalizing attribution (IA), acknowledged positive behavior (APB), acknowledged negative behavior (ANB), rise in anxiety (RIA), decrease in anxiety (DIA), attribution related shift in behavior (ARSB), positive intervention attitude (PIA), and neutral intervention attitude (NIA). For more information regarding the chosen codes and their operational definitions please refer to Appendix A and B.

Results

Overview

The interviews and observations yielded many interesting themes pertaining to children's perceptions of exams and their behaviors. The pre- and post- interview sessions yielded responses of varying length and complexity, as students who identified as being test anxious were more willing to thoroughly discuss their insights and experiences. The following section will outline the study's key findings and evidence to support them.

How do students perceive test anxiety affecting their test performance?

During the initial interview sessions, student responses about test anxiety fell primarily in two categories: 1) those that felt it hindered test performance and 2) those that believed it provided them with the added incentive to finish a test more quickly and provided the necessary concentration to do so. Interestingly, students who self-identified as being test anxious noted both negative and positive aspects of test anxiety. For instance, Student #1, who identified as being highly test anxious, reported that test anxiety had limited benefits, in that “it can help you concentrate,” and “it makes you want to finish the test quicker.” Whereas, Student #4 stated that a slight amount of test anxiety could helpful in providing the necessary motivation to complete an exam in a timely manner, saying, “For me I think, if you want to get over this, just finish it up so you don't have to do it later. It's one of my motives that get me to finish it faster.”

How do students perceive the value of tests?

Responses were divided among students who identified as being test anxious and those who did not. Test anxious students believed that their test performance was related to intellectual ability. Moreover, they believed that if they did well or poorly, this would affect their teachers' perceptions of them. Conversely, students who did not report anxiety about tests believed that they are simply a measure of what has been learned and an indicator of the areas in which they are proficient as well as those needing improvement.

What differences, if any, were demonstrated between test anxious and non-test anxious students in terms of their perceptions of how they feel before, during, and after tests?

The responses suggested that students who are affected by test anxiety are prone to feeling panic and frustration throughout the course of an exam, but will feel relieved upon its completion. Those students who do not report feeling test anxious direct their thoughts toward the steps needed to complete the exam and focus on fulfilling them until the exam is over. Moreover, these students choose to think about the positive consequences of finishing the exam, such as being excused to recess or allowed free time toward a preferred activity. For example, Student #1 reported that when he first hears that he is going to take a test, he enters what he calls, “mental panic mode,” a condition in which he “freezes and can't get back on track” with his exam. In another instance, Student #4 reported that she felt some minor anxiety relating to time limits on tests, but that once she “got more relaxed and in the swing of doing it,” she felt better.

What are students' existing methods of coping with test anxiety?

The interview responses and initial exam observations suggested that most text anxious students do not have access to any positive coping strategies. They tend to be reactive in response to stress and frustration. Moreover, they tend to divert their attention toward comparing their progress on an exam relative to their peers. Some students impulsively pounded their fist and moaned (or sighed) at various times while others used positive self-talk to remind themselves of their past successes. Non-anxious students did not have to devote attention to coping during the exam. Most students in the study could not verbalize coping strategies that they currently use. However, Student #4 reported that before a test she will “think of my happy place” and use self-talk to guide and motivate her to complete test items.

What are some methods students reported that teachers or other school staff could utilize to alleviate anxious feelings related to tests?

Test-anxious students reported that being front-loaded with the structure of tests and being given goals helped them become more familiar and comfortable with the test-taking situation. Other students felt that positive comments and encouragement were helpful to their self-confidence throughout the exam, while some felt that intervention is unnecessary and at times detrimental to their feeling of independence. Student #1 stated that, before a test, he would like his teachers to “kind of walk me through it” and “give me some kind of goal to shoot for.” By contrast, Student #3 reported that he prefers that staff (teachers and aides) do not interfere with him during a test, as “it gets annoying and I want to figure things out by myself.” Students #4 and #5 stated that it would be beneficial to take the test in an alternate setting, or have an opportunity to leave the classroom for a small break to alleviate tension.

How do students perceive video of their test-taking behavior?

Students' responses were varied, as those who presented with test-anxious behavior were more inclined to recognize maladaptive strategies and show a willingness to improve, whereas those who did not report test-anxious behavior felt that the video had minimal impact on the. For instance, Student #1 pointed out a moment when he “went into shock mode” and was preoccupied with his lack of progress as compared to his peers: “I was thinking that I was going to take the whole time (to take the exam) and they're not.” In contrast, Student # 3 reported that the video “didn't really affect” him and that he looked “normal,” yet he did notice instances of off-task behavior.

What observed changes did students make as a result of video self-modeling and reattribution training?

Students who originally reported and presented with test-anxious behaviors were notably more focused, calm, less distractible, and more productive in the follow-up exam. Students who neither reported nor presented with these behaviors did not exhibit any tangible changes in behavior since the initial exam.

To illustrate the positive effects of the intervention, during the second exam, Student #1 appeared to be less preoccupied with task-irrelevant thoughts and more at ease with the test-taking situation. Moreover, he demonstrated improved concentration and reduced distractibility, directing his focus to his own activity rather than to those of the other participants. As a result, Student #1 was able to complete an entire outline of his essay response as well as one page of written work during the allotted time.

Do students perceive video self-modeling and reattribution training having an effect on their levels of test anxiety?

Consistent with other findings in the study, student perceptions of the treatment protocol differed based on the level of presenting and reported test-anxious behaviors and thoughts. The students who reported and presented with test-anxious behavior shared that the treatment condition was helpful in allowing them to access positive thoughts and strategies that aided in their focus and work production. For example, with regard to the video modeling training, Student #1 said that, “it definitely helped. I knew what to expect. I learned not to get frustrated when someone else finishes [a test] before me.”

Is a combined treatment consisting of video self-modeling and reattribution training effective in reducing test anxiety ?

Quantitative data that compared pre- and post- self-ratings of the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children suggest that the students' level of anxiety was not significantly different after the treatment protocol, and is thus inconsistent with the qualitative findings. The lack of statistical significance was probably due, in part, to the small sample size as well as to the MASC's insensitivity to change (especially in the area of test anxiety).

Table 1 (depicts the pre and post treatment results of the MASC Overall T-scores and Performance Anxiety raw scores. The MASC Overall T-Score is comprised of ratings across the four scales of the MASC, which include: (a) Physical Symptoms, (b) Harm Avoidance, (c) Social Anxiety, and (d) Separation/Panic Scale. Performance Anxiety is a subscale within the Social Anxiety Scale that focuses on symptoms of performance fears (e.g. I worry about getting called on in class). As a T-score cannot be derived by this subscale alone, the raw score totals for the Performance Anxiety were reported instead. Although there were some minor reductions in overall anxiety and the reporting of symptoms of performance anxiety, the paired samples t-tests in both areas were not determined to be statistically significant (MASC Overall t (4) = 0.48, p >.05; Performance Anxiety Scale t (4) = 1.00, p >.05). For this reason, the effectiveness of the treatment protocol was deemed by this researcher to be best captured by the qualitative feedback of the participants.

 

Table 1

Comparison of Pre and Post Overall T-Scores and Performance Raw Scores

 

MASC Overall (Pre)

MASC Overall (Post)

Performance Scale (Pre)

Performance Scale (Post)

Student #

t

t

Raw

Raw

1

52

49

5

3

2

33

32

2

0

3

45

45

2

0

4

37

48

4

6

5

27

26

0

0

Note: Paired samples t-test (MASC Overall); t(4) = 0.48, p >.05; Paired samples t-test (Performance Scale); t(4) = 1.00, p >.05

Discussion

Themes and Relation to Prior Research Findings

In this study, videotaped self-modeling was used in conjunction with reattribution training to treat test anxiety. The results were both consistent with the researcher's prior assumptions and surprising in many ways. It appears that students place high value on test results. They consider parental satisfaction, teacher satisfaction, and their feelings of self-worth when they take an exam, which may lead to varying degrees of anxiety.

Students regarded test anxiety as negatively impacting their test performance. Most students agreed that a slight amount of anxiety facilitated efficacious behavior during the exam. However, beyond a certain point, they regarded the anxiety as detrimental to their performance. These findings corroborated Spielberger and Vagg's (1995) test anxiety model discussed earlier. Moreover, the results suggested that students are aware of their behaviors, but may see themselves from a different perspective when they view video observations. This claim was substantiated by the fact that at least two of the subjects in the study consciously changed their behavior for the second exam, and acknowledged they did so because of the video observation. Although the students did not directly claim that reattribution training led to their improved feelings during the second exam, they appeared to embrace the concept of internal and external attributions.

Typical students and test anxious students demonstrated differences in their mentality during testing situations. In this study, students who identified as test anxious felt panic and frustration as a result of being in an evaluative situation, an outcome that is similar to Taylor's (1956) findings. In contrast, participants who did not present with test anxious behavior did not have to contend with this added layer of pressure. This made it possible for them to devote their full attention to the test items and draw upon past experiences (either homework or classwork) that reinforced their belief in themselves, a finding consistent with Zeidner's 1998 study.

In terms of existing methods of coping with test anxiety, students who are able to manage their symptoms tend to be those who employ positive self-talk to remind themselves of their exposure to already learned material and past successes. This is consistent with the findings of Bandura (1994), who claimed that students who believe in their own self-efficacy are more likely to find success in the tasks they undertake.

With regard to students' feelings regarding teacher and staff interventions intended to alleviate test anxiety, test anxious students reported that front-loading and goal-setting are two strategies that help them in a testing scenario, findings consistent with Benjamin, Kirkland & Hollandsworth (1980), as well as those of McKeachie, Lin, and Hollinger (1981). By improving upon test-taking skills, students are better able to encode material learned in class and draw upon it during an exam. Other forms of staff interaction that students prefer during testing situations are verbal encouragement and the opportunity to test in an alternate location. These are important findings for educators who are looking for ways to accommodate students who struggle with testing.

The use of video modeling to treat symptoms of test anxiety appears to be beneficial, with the caveat that this intervention should be reserved for students who are exhibiting behaviors that severely impair their ability to perform on tests. As demonstrated by Kehle et al. (2002), students who demonstrated maladaptive test-taking behaviors were able to replace them with the more functional strategies taught in the video counseling sessions. These students also demonstrated increased awareness of their self-talk and sought to replace self-defeating thoughts with self-promoting ones. Furthermore, students were also cognizant of their pacing in answering exam items, thus learning to work on items at a comfortable rate, as opposed to focusing on the answer rate of their peers. In contrast, students who do not present with debilitating levels of test anxiety do not report significant benefits from this type of intervention.

Another important finding of this study was that test anxious students who participated in reattribution and test-taking skills training were observed to make significant changes to their behaviors. Students who originally identified as being anxious during tests were notably more focused, calm, less distractible, and more productive as a result of the treatment they received. This finding is corroborated by the test-taking skills paradigms of Kirkland and Hollandsworth (1980) and McKeachie, Lin, and Hollinger (1981). Moreover, the video modeling process, as detailed by Bellini (2007), was instrumental in helping test anxious students identify areas of weakness and replace non-efficacious behaviors with functional alternatives as a result of the video sessions. A benefit to non-anxious students was that watching themselves succeed in the video clips further reinforced their already established appropriate behaviors.

Limitations and Future Development

This exploratory study had a number of limitations. Firstly, the project was an exploratory study in to an area that few researchers have previously investigated. Few researchers have defined test anxiety, but even fewer still have delved into more direct means of treating this condition. Secondly, it must be noted that this research involved only a small sample (three males and two females) of elementary school students. Therefore, caution must be exercised in trying to generalize the findings to older students or to the general population. In addition, it must also be noted that the school setting in which the study took place was not typical of what most school-aged children encounter. The site was a non-public school, utilized a highly reinforcing behavioral program, had a very favorable teacher to student ratio (1:3), and housed a non-typical population (students with ADHD and other related learning and behavioral disorders). Given these unusual conditions, it is not feasible to assume that these results would generalize to students in every school (public or private). In addition, practice effects may have unduly influenced the students' perceptions of reduced anxiety, as the testing procedures and type of exam had become familiar over the course of the study.

In terms of the instrument used for obtaining quantitative data, the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children was not very sensitive to change in the specific area of test anxiety. Newer measures, such as the Test Anxiety Inventory for Children and Adolescents (Lowe et. al, 2007), as well as other existing measures such as the Spielberger Test Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger, 1980) and Children's Test Anxiety Scale (Wren & Brenson, 2004), would likely have given more targeted feedback as to the effectiveness of the treatment protocol.

Despite the information derived from this study, there are questions that were not asked that should be investigated in future research projects. It would be beneficial to obtain teacher feedback regarding the effectiveness of the test anxiety interventions. Although the researcher only received anecdotal feedback from the participants' teachers, it was generally positive. Skill maintenance would be another highly important question to answer with regard to this treatment modality. Finally, it is vital for researchers to investigate the impact of test anxiety on ethnic minorities and English Language Learners, and be able to discern the contribution of stereotype threat to this condition (Steele & Aronson, 1995).

Conclusion and Implications

The results of this study have implications at every level of the educational system. With special consideration for parents and school staff, it is important that these groups be mindful of the impact of test anxiety on their students. Although it is vital to push students to perform to their potential and draw upon facilitating anxiety, it is equally imperative that students not be made to feel that test performance is a measure of self-worth, for doing so only exacerbates debilitating anxiety. Furthermore, in consideration of the push toward high stakes testing due to the No Child Left Behind program (High School Exit Exam, Gifted and Talented Education, and state standards testing), educators need to be cognizant of increased tension and anxiety in certain students. This highlights the importance of a preventative curriculum to address concerns over the amount of pressure to which students are being subjected.

According to the National Association of School Psychologists Blueprint for Training and Practice, the role of the school psychologist is to “provide counseling, instruction, and mentoring for those struggling with social, emotional, and behavioral problems, to increase achievement by assessing barriers to learning and determining the best instructional strategies to improve learning, and to promote wellness and resilience by reinforcing communication and social skills, problem solving, anger management, self-regulation, self-determination, and optimism” (Ysseldyke et al., 1997). As such, a school psychologist is responsible for more than purely the academic performance and behavioral output of his or her students. School Psychologists are also accountable for the social/emotional health of their students, which in turn affects the other areas of school performance such as achievement and proper social behavior. Further development of evidence-based interventions by researchers and practitioners in this realm will be vital to the advancement of the field.

Shahrokh R. Shahroozi, MA, PPS, NCSP, is a fourth-year doctoral student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He currently serves as a School Psychologist/Mental Health Specialist for the Santa Barbara County Office of Education. He is also the membership chair for the California Association of School Psychologists.

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Appendix A

Observation Codes

Code

Description

PCS: Positive Coping

Strategy

Coping strategy that involves an appropriate expression of feelings and is conducive to completing an exam in a timely, efficient, and effortful manner (e.g. taking deep breaths, positive self-talk, etc.)

NCS: Negative Coping Strategy

Coping strategy that involves a non-functional expression of negative emotion hinders the student from completing an exam in a timely manner (e.g. moaning, pounding one's fist, etc.)

NRB: Non-related Behavior

Behaviors not salient to test anxiety

TAB: Test Anxious Behavior

Behaviors that are symptomatic of test anxiety (e.g. constantly looking at the clock or watch, squirming in seat, focused on other students' progress, etc.)

OAB: Other Anxious Behavior

Anxious behaviors not related to the exam situation

MCS: Mental Coping Strategy

E.g. Goal setting, self-monitoring, positive thoughts

PCS: Physical Coping Strategy

E.g. sighing, pounding one's fist, rocking in chair

AAS: Applying Attribution Strategy

Student informs researcher that shift in behavior was due to use of an attribution strategy

PSS: Shift to Positive Strategy

Used to denote shift to positive test-taking strategy from follow-up exam

NSS: Shift to Negative Strategy

Used to denote shift to negative test-taking strategy from follow-up exam

ZSS: No shift in strategy

Used to denote no shift in test-taking strategy from follow-up exam

FA: Facilitating Anxiety

Student demonstrates anxious behavior that may be conducive to successful test-taking

DA: Debilitating Anxiety

Student demonstrates anxious behavior that may hinder successful test-taking

L: Latency

Used to denote time periods in which the student was being unproductive or off-task during the exam

Appendix B

Interview Codes

Code

Description

ASB: Acknowledged shift in behavior

Student acknowledges that a shift in behavior from first to second session

VRSB: Video related shift in behavior

Student attributes shift in behavior due to video modeling intervention

FA: Facilitating Anxiety

Student expresses feeling anxiety that was conducive to successful test-taking

DA: Debilitating Anxiety

Student expresses feeling anxiety that hindered successful test-taking

EA: Externalizing Attribution

Student attributes test performance to test difficulty or other external factors

IA: Internalizing Attribution

Student attributes test performance to internal factors such as effort, cognitive ability, etc.

APB: Acknowledged positive behavior

Student acknowledges that demonstrated behavior was conducive to successful test-taking

ANB: Acknowledged negative behavior

Student acknowledges that demonstrated behavior hindered successful test-taking

RIA: Rise in anxiety

Student acknowledges an event during the exam that raised anxiety levels

DIA: Decrease in anxiety

Student acknowledges an event during the exam that reduced anxiety levels

ARSB: Attribution related shift in behavior

Student attributes change in behavior due to reattribution training