1 Kerman Dental and Oral Diseases Research Center, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran, Kerman Social Determinants on Oral Health Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran, Departments of Oral Pathology and

2 Department of Periodontics, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Kerman Dental and Oral Diseases Research Center, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

4 Kerman Dental and Oral Diseases Research Center, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran Kerman Social Determinants on Oral Health Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, IranOral Medicine, School of Dentistry,

5 Kerman Social Determinants on Oral Health Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Kerman, Iran,


STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM: Examinations have an important role in evaluating students’
learning outcomes and their mastery of a subject. Passing or failing an examination can have
far‑reaching consequences for the students. Therefore, it is not surprising that international studies
consistently show that dental students report examinations and grades among the highest ranking
stressors in dental schools.
PURPOSE: The aim of this research was to measure the levels of anxiety, self‑perception of
preparation and expectations for success using an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE),
a written examination and a preclinical preparation test, and to examine the effects of the three
predictive variables on the outcomes of assessments.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The present research is a cross‑sectional study. The population under
consideration was students of Kerman Dental School in 2013. Examination anxiety was measured
with Spielberger’s state anxiety inventory. Preparation for the assessment (I am fully prepared = 4,
I am prepared = 3, I’m not prepared = 2, I’m not fully prepared = 1) and expectation to succeed (I am
quite successful = 4, I am successful = 3, I’m not successful = 2, I’m not quite successful = 1) were
quantified with Likert scale. The questionnaire was completed during an OSCE, a written examination,
a preclinical crown and bridge preparation test and a nonexamination situation.
RESULTS: The study population consisted of 138 4th, 5th, and 6th year Kerman dental students (65 males
and 73 females). The results showed that all the assessment methods induced a significant increase
in state anxiety compared to baseline levels with the highest anxiety levels reported during an
OSCE (62.4 ± 8.1, P = 0.04) and a written examination (48.8 ± 9.2, P = 0.04). The preparation levels
in females were significantly higher than those in males in OSCE (P = 0.03) and written (P = 0.04).
CONCLUSION: State anxiety was high in all the three assessment methods. OSCE induced more
anxiety than other assessment formats. However, anxiety was not predictive of performance outcomes
in contrast to preparation and expectation to succeed, which were good predictors of the outcome
scores. Also, this study showed that despite a better answer to the assessment of (I prepared myself
well for the test), the students showed high levels of state anxiety.


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