Individual differences in text comprehension as a function of test anxiety and prior knowledge

A E Minnaert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the relationship between reading comprehension and comprehension monitoring with undergraduates (223 women, 69 men). Further, the effect of test anxiety and of prior knowledge on reading comprehension and on comprehension monitoring was examined in groups of students of equal intellectual ability. Students with high scores on reading comprehension performed better on a comprehension monitoring task as well. Individual differences in reading comprehension with a multiple-choice response format emerged as a function of the interaction between test anxiety and prior knowledge. Students with low prior knowledge and high test anxiety performed worst of all. We found a far less detrimental effect of test anxiety and prior knowledge on monitoring comprehension than on reading comprehension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-177
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb-1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety
  • Cognition
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reading
  • Time Factors

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