Professor Dave Putwain led research which found that pupils who worry about their exam performance are more likely to do badly than those who are less anxious.
Dave has studied ways of reducing test anxiety through raising awareness with educators, the public, and through targeted intervention. He believes that schools need to try to gain a ‘student’s eye view’ of exams, through being more aware of the detrimental effects of test anxiety and the ways in which they can be reduced.
As part of his research he has also examined how exam stress can be reduced through students following an on-screen, self-help programme called STEPS (Strategies to Tackle Exam Pressure and Stress). This programme included videos of students discussing how they cope with exam stress, interactive games, quizzes and opportunities for students to practice anxiety management techniques. On average, pupils who were anxious about their exams reported that this was reduced after participating in STEPS.
Dave’s research could have a long-term impact on how teachers and parents approach pupil’s exam anxiety and consequently lead to a reduction in pupil’s stress levels, overall improving their exam performance. The research by Edge Hill University has attracted considerable media coverage, featuring on both ITN and Sky news.