Exams are a common source of stress for students, often leading to feelings of anxiety and apprehension. While a certain level of stress can be motivating, excessive anxiety can hinder performance. Fortunately, there are numerous effective strategies to manage exam anxiety and perform well under pressure. Understanding Exam Anxiety Exam anxiety is a natural response […]
Research has shown that mindfulness can reduce students’ negative emotions associated with high-stakes tests and thereby improve test performance. This study explored the association between mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) and high-risk math test scores of middle school students, which is noticeably slim in the domain of mathematics education, through a mediating process involving math-specific test anxiety and math self-efficacy. Using data from a sample of 45 students, age 12–13, we found empirical support for a significant positive correlation between mindfulness and middle school students’ math achievement. Participants listened to a mindfulness audio every other week before a mathematics test. Weekly mathematics test scores, student group discussion data, and in-depth interview data were analyzed to explore how mindfulness affected students’ mathematics test performance, which showed a statistically significant improvement after mindfulness compared to mathematics achievement without the intervention. Our results indicate that mindfulness can relieve mathematics anxiety symptoms, including physiological manifestations, test-unrelated thinking and worries, and problem-solving obstacles caused by mathematics anxiety. Also, mindfulness, especially its non-judgmental attitude, positively affects students’ mathematical self-efficacy. The current research provides evidence of the mindfulness intervention’s efficacy for improving middle school mathematics test performance but also identifies the complexities of implementing it with large numbers of students.