Gender Test Anxiety, Students Interest and Academic Performance in Chemistry Among Ss3 Students in M M C Educational Zone, Borno State Nigeria

Abstract

This study was on Gender test anxiety, students interest and academic performance in chemistry among SS 3 students in M M C educational zone,  Borno state Nigeria. Three objectives were raised which included:  To find out the influence gender have on students’ interest in chemistry, to find out the influence gender have on students’ achievement in chemistry and to find out the interactive effect of gender and test anxiety on the academic performance of students in chemistry. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from SS 3 students in M M C educational zone,  Borno state Nigeria. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).

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LITERATURE REVIEW

Chemistry Anxiety in Learning

Past research in time of few decades ago, numerous of research has been underlined significantly anxiety issues on learning and retaining process respectively (Gaudry and Spieleberger, 1971). A research conducted by Wsterback and Primavera (1992) discovered that, profoundly lower levels of anxiety results in successful learning in chemistry as well as promote to higher chemistry grades of the students. Cuceloglu (1997) and Gall (1996) stated that the effect of anxiety in learning demonstrated that medium level of anxiety enhance to high level of productivity. In order to maximize the learning process, there is necessity for preventive effort of negative effects of anxiety itself. In chemistry learning, there are three important components in chemistry scope of study which are macroscopic, microscopic and representative. Students are likely to be anxious in learning chemistry when they cannot effectively interpreted the abstract knowledge of chemistry in term of theories, concept, principle or problem solving calculation. The misconception of students in learning chemistry occurred when they fails to make a connection or relationship between these three content domains of chemistry learning subject (Sirhan, 2007). Anxiety in learning chemistry is one the undesired circumstances that can paralyze students learning process and impaired student’s performance as well. The progression of students’ learning will be interrupted when the students cannot control their anxiety or fear towards learning chemistry with a good manner and it tends to give negative effect to those students who by intelligence and hard work that should otherwise perform well. Besides that, learning chemistry anxiety acts as a profession filter that preventing students from entering certain fields in term of chemistry discipline because of fear to further their study or learning process in prerequisite and more specific chemistry courses (Hong, 2010). Chemistry learning anxiety mainly related to students undergoing anxiety feel worried over academic tasks. Indeed, students probably feel anxious related to their chemistry task. Many of students suffered from anxiety when facing difficult tasks in their chemistry task (Nelson and Harwood, 2011). Other than that, difficulties in understanding the abstract concepts have been interrelated to working memory space of an individual. Usually, students faced a learning situation that is excessively ample thing to handle in the limited working space; they tend to have difficulty in deciding on the main information that required from the other less important information. Consequently, without the advanced organizer of learning input provided by the experienced teacher, the student frequently has directed to rote learning as a result of undesirable type of learning. In future, this problem may affect students to be anxious when they need to use the necessary information of knowledge due to unorganized function of working memory. School tasks that include the usage of additional working memory are prominently affected by anxiety and depression (Owens et al., 2012). Indeed, the significant features of chemistry learning were required for attainment in comprehending chemical concepts. Consequently if students possess difficulties at one of the chemistry levels either in macroscopic, microscopic or representative, it may give impact the other. As a result, they look upon chemistry as a burden to be endured than as an experienced to be appreciated. When students possess to this negative attitude, learning chemistry becomes stressful and this leads to chemistry anxiety (Chen, 2013). Secken and Zan (2013) identified that each student experienced anxiety in various lessons due to particular reason as well during their educational years. This condition might affect their learning to be positively or vice versa. In their finding, it showed that students with lack ability to use graph in chemistry courses in proceeding mathematical functions may cause students to develop anxieties towards using graphs. A previous research which implemented by Yusuf (2014) illustrated that the student­oriented learning context such as collaborative approach was discovered that the students’ anxiety towards chemistry was lesser than as compared to students that have been taught using teacher­centered learning approach. Correspondingly, all those research studies revealed that higher anxiety level in learning chemistry undesirably affect accomplishment in chemistry courses in aspect related to students’ learning process (Eddy, 2000; Hong, 2010; Erdal and Mustafa, 2014).

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Chemistry Anxiety in Evaluation

Chemistry evaluation can be considered as the measure score of students in their learning process particularly in chemistry subject. Based on the finding of previous research, chemistry evaluation anxiety factor can be investigated among students were included of feeling extremely anxious in the situation of taking the final chemistry examination, being given on the spot chemistry quiz during a chemistry class, taking a regular chemistry test, working on homework that consists of many difficult chemistry problems, and solving difficult problems on a chemistry test (Eddy, 2000). Abendroth and Friedman (1983) claimed that lower level of anxiety contributed in higher chemistry grades. Other than that, most students generally have perceived different situation of anxiety during the evaluation in term of quiz, test or general examination. As an outcome, their performance on written examinations is frequently poorer than the result that they supposedly achieved and school are surprised because a students’ score on a particular examination does not reflect the school’s assessment of the student’s ability (Steve and Donald, 2003). Aris and Heng (2007) informed that their study on chemistry learning anxiety on chemical bonding topic among electrical engineering students showed that there was a significant correlation between chemistry anxieties and students’ achievement. A research conducted by Chamberlain et al. (2011) verified that the students’ views on anxiety could be disseminated into two time frames which are pre­examination and examination day. They perceived that pre­examination anxiety became triggers due to substantial revision assignments and frequency of teachers in mentioning about examination and addressing to their students to be aware and fear if they do not prepared enough (Putwain and Roberts, 2009) and this condition causing to the effect of unpredictably substandard examination results accordingly.

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