African Journal for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

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Influence of self efficacy, locus of control and gender on exam anxiety among Utme, Post Utme and distance learning students in Ibadan Oyo State, Nigeria

A.C. Obosi, A.A. Odusanya, O.P. Tomoloju, Olagoke Ayobami


Most time one wonders why students who performed well during class interaction failed to meet up the expected performance required of him/her during exam. Exam anxiety is an important outcome variable among students which affects various facets of after-school life. However, there is a dearth of literature on this outcome variable, hence the need for this study which examined the influence of self-efficacy, locus of control and gender on exam anxiety among students across three exam categories such as the University tertiary matriculation examination (UTME), post-UTME and Distance learning centre examinations (DLC) in Ibadan. This study adopted the ex post facto design where a total of six (596) participants (297 males and 299 females) were sampled. Convenience sampling technique was used to sample respondents in the study. The learning deficit model and Social learning theory provided the theoretical framework for this study and also provided explanations on the variable linkages. A structured questionnaire consisting of demographics and scales measuring self efficacy, locus of control and exam anxiety were used to collect the data. Two hypotheses were tested using Zero Order Correlation and simple multiple regression analysis, at 0.05 level of significance. Initial results showed that there was a significant positive relationship between self-efficacy and test anxiety (r=.31; p<.01) and between self-efficacy and locus of control (r=.26; p<.01). This implies that the more students perceived themselves as being capable of doing something, the higher their anxiety for exam. The other implies that locus of control and self-efficacy goes in the same direction. However, locus of control and test anxiety did not significantly correlate (r=-.07; p>.05). Further results showed that there was a significant joint influence of self-efficacy and locus of control on test anxiety (F(2, 597)=40.69; p<.01). The variables jointly contributed about 12% of the variance observed in the dependent variable. Furthermore, self-efficacy (β=-.35; t=8.83; p<.01) and locus of control (β=-.16; t=-4.09; p˂.01) had a significant independent prediction of exam anxiety. Self-efficacy contributed about 35% of the variance observed in the dependent variable, while locus of control contributed about 16% in the variance seen in the dependent variable. Self-efficacy, locus of control and socio-demographic factors were important factors that influence exam anxiety among UTME, post-UTME and DLC University of Ibadan students in Ibadan. Therefore it is recommended that stakeholders put up programmes to enhance self-efficacy and appropriate intervention to develop adequate locus of control among students across the studies population.

Keywords: Self-efficacy, locus of control, Exam anxiety and utme, post utme and DLC

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