Study efforts, learning strategies and test anxiety when striving for language competence: the role of utility value, self-efficacy, and reasons for learning English
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Previous research has shown that utility value and expectancy for success, as well as the reasons for academic striving, could partly explain academic engagement. Yet, their joint role in predicting learning strategies and test anxiety has not been thoroughly understood, especially in contexts where pressure for success is high. We examined this issue in a sample of Turkish university students who were attending a language preparatory school (N = 1009; 53% males, Mage = 19.14 years; SD = 1.08) and were under the psychological pressure to pass their qualifying exams. Regression analyses showed that next to self-efficacy beliefs, it was intrinsic reasons which positively and consistently predicted learning strategies; in contrast, self-worth concerns positively predicted test anxiety. These relations emerged even among students who experienced failure and were thus psychologically pressed to succeed. Our findings suggest that intrinsic reasons for academic striving might play a decisive role even in psychologically pressuring contexts.