Document Type : Research articles


1 Department of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Student Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran

3 Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) forced higher education to adopt e-learning and remote online tests as a kind of assessment that leads to new paradigms.
Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the medical students' test anxiety toward remote online tests during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: The current cross-sectional study has been conducted in the 2020-2021 academic year. A self-reported online questionnaire was used to investigate the medical students' test anxiety at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. The survey consisted of demographic characteristics, including gender, age, and curriculum phase, as well as the validated version of the Sarasons's test anxiety scale in Persian.
Results: The findings indicated that the prevalence rates of mild, moderate, and severe test anxiety were 27.9%, 36.9%, and 35.2%, respectively, toward remote online tests. Although the comparison of test anxiety levels showed a statistically significant difference due to gender and age (P<0.05), the difference in test anxiety among the students of basic sciences and preclinical was not significant (P>0.05). Furthermore, the female students' test anxiety was more than that of male students, and participants over 20 years old had higher test anxiety scores (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Moderate to severe test anxiety was more common in medical students, which can have devastating effects on the students' academic performance. There is a critical need to recommend anxiety management techniques and bring reforms in e-assessment systems to reduce test anxiety in medical students.

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