Assessment of Examination Related Anxiety among Students in a Medical College at Kolkata, India: A Cross-sectional Study
Dr. Avijit Paul,
Chhayaneer, Deshbandhu Road, P.O. Madhyamgram Bazar, District North 24 Parganas, Kolkata-700130, West Bengal, India.
Introduction: Medical education is considered to be one of the most academically and emotionally demanding training programmes out of any profession. Stress causes a negative effect on the students’ psychosocial well-being. Students having anxiety can experience intense feeling of fear or panic and also impairs concentration and working memory.
Aim: To estimate the examination related anxiety levels among medical students. Also, to find out its association with different lifestyle and behavioural factors.
Materials and Methods: This institution-based cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among 365 medical students of Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India, from February 2022 to March 2022. The study used predesigned, pretested, and semi-structured questionnaire. To assess anxiety level, the 10-item Westside Test Anxiety Scale was used. The scale consists of 10 questions which are answered based on a 5-point scale. Data was analysed in Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16.0.
Results: Out of 365, 108 (29.6%) students suffered from moderately-high test anxiety during exams in both first and second professional MBBS year. Only 8.2% students had comfortably-low test anxiety, whereas, 11.2% had extremely high test anxiety. Among the first year students 37.5% male and 19.5% female had moderately high to extremely high level of test anxiety. In second year students 34.6% male and 20.6% female had moderately high to extremely high level of test anxiety. Male gender, addiction to smoking, addiction to alcohol, virtual gaming habit, coming from a nuclear family, and staying at home during exams had greater odds of having high anxiety than their counterparts. Addiction to smoking had adjusted odds of 1.52 and was found to be statistically significant. Students who resided in their homes had 2.34 times more chances of having high test anxiety and this association was found to be statistically significant. The practice of yoga was found to be protective with adjusted odds of 0.31 and this was also statistically significant.
Conclusion: Male gender, addiction to smoking and alcohol, virtual gaming habit, coming from a nuclear family and staying at home during examination time had greater impact on anxiety level than their counterparts. The practice of yoga was found to be protective. Involving students in different extra-curricular activities like outdoor games, yoga, playing music may be helpful in alleviating anxiety level.