Examination Anxiety in Integrated Modular Curriculum: Perceptions of Dental Students

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Qasim Mehmood Janjua
Faheem Khan
Sara Mukhtar


Introduction:The universal driving force for learning is assessment, however, it accompanies anxiety, commonly known as exam
or test anxiety. There is increasing evidence that exam modality and gender play a significant role in generating anxiety in medical students. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of exam anxiety in different assessment modalities with same examination standards and criteria among dental students at University College of Dentistry (UCD), The University of Lahore (UOL).
Method:We conducted a cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey of over 250 dental students from years 1 to 4, at UCD to assess the test anxiety in dental students with different exam modalities. Mann Whitney U test was used to compare the variations of perceptions among male and female students of UCD. Chi-square was used to test for analysis of academic years with different modalities of exams.
Results:The analysis suggested that “extensive course load” with highest anxiety mean score of 4 was most anxiety provoking followed by “studying all night” (mean score=3) in all assessment modalities. The single most test-anxiety provoking modality was “OSCE station with examiner”, with an average combined mean score of 57, followed by “Long-case” (mean score=56). The data revealed that “psychological issues” (p=0.05), “OSCE station with the examiner” (p=0.02) and “exam taking strategy” (p=0.00) were found statistically significant with respect to genders. The combined score of all exam modalities under the domain of “information needs” was highly significant (p=0.02) with highest mean rank observed in final year dental students followed by 2nd-year students.
Conclusion:We conclude that face-to-face assessments evoke anxiety in students, especially in females. This may be because it also involves confidence and presentation other than theoretical knowledge as in short answer questions (SAQ). The mock assessments shall be made part of the syllabus as this will increase students’ preparedness and will also be helpful for examiners.
Exam, Anxiety, Assessment, Modalities, Dental students

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How to Cite
Janjua, Q., Khan, F., & Mukhtar, S. (2022). Examination Anxiety in Integrated Modular Curriculum: Perceptions of Dental Students. Health Professions Educator Journal, 5(1), 19-25. https://doi.org/10.53708/hpej.v5i1.1265