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Academic year: 2022





International Journal of Education and Pedagogy (IJEAP) eISSN: 2682-8464 [Vol. 3 No. 1 March 2021]

Journal website: http://myjms.mohe.gov.my/index.php/ijeap


Jonas L. Depaynos1*, Glaiza May B. Butala2 and Sheryl M. Atompag3

1 2 3 University of the Cordilleras, Baguio City, PHILIPPINES

*Corresponding author: depaynosj@gmail.com

Article Information:

Article history:

Received date : 20 February 2021 Revised date : 18 March 2021 Accepted date : 18 March 2021 Published date : 19 March 2021

To cite this document:

Depaynos, J., Butala, G., & Atompag, S.

(2021). ACADEMIC STRESS OF ACADEMIC TRACK SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS. International Journal Of Education And Pedagogy, 3(1), 93-111.

Abstract: This study revolved around the academic stress of ABM, GAS, HUMSS, and STEM strands of the academic track. It made use of descriptive-comparative design with the aid of an adapted questionnaire. Weighted mean was utilized to determine the level of academic stress of the respective strands, analysis of variance to identify significant differences among the strands, and chi-squared test of independence to check the relationship between stress level and strand. It was found out that unparticipative group mates, time limits, and unreciprocated review as evident to low activity scores are the most significant factors needed to be considered in lowering academic stress. Moreover, GAS and HUMSS students are significantly stressed higher compared to STEM, with ABM mediating in between. Lastly, the academic stress level of a student depends mainly on his/her personality regardless of the strand where s/he belongs. Thus, necessary stress-coping mechanisms need to be highlighted out not only to students but to parents, to administrations, and to the community as well.

Keywords: Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM), Descriptive-Comparative Analysis, General Academic Strand (GAS), Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).


1. Introduction

Stress has been a common problem to people as they progress in life, and as defined by Selye (1956), as cited by Szabo et al., 2012, stress is the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change, and it is not a reaction to something bad but merely a reaction to a change in the situation.

The research entitled “Academic Stress of Academic Track Senior High School Students” would benefit from the following:

This study would highly emphasize the level of academic stress perceived by senior high school students under the academic track. By emphasizing the level of academic stress, it is then possible to determine which academic strand is experiencing the highest level of academic stress, and the parents would also be informed if their child encounter high level of academic stress vis-à-vis his/her respective strand. In this case, they can practice how they can handle their children when it comes to stress. Also, school heads would be aware that the students in a certain strand are experiencing a particular academic stress level.

That being the case, the administration of schools could make some possible adjustments for students to have a better and conducive learning environment. Lastly, it would help the incoming senior high school students to choose wisely what strand they would take and this study would also benefit them in a way that they can use this as a basis when researching under this study in the future.

2. Literature Review Academic Stress

Academic stress had always been a common experience for every student due to the pursuit of education (Porwal & Kumar, 2014). It is a feeling or reaction to certain academic events such as examinations, difficult lessons, assignments, unconcerned teacher’s attitude, and complex school curriculum (Wilks, 2008; Masih & Gulrez, 2006) which could drastically affect a student’s behavior (Richlin-Klonsky & Hoe, 2003). This behavior may serve as a hindrance to one’s academic pursuit or assistance in achieving academic performance. But academic stress can also be helpful to students by perceiving stress as a challenge or a motivation (Guevarra & Cimanes, 2017), which makes the students do their best.

This kind of stress, also known as eustress, can enhance the learning of students and their overall perception towards academic demands such as school presentations, requirements, and examinations which are viewed to be very stressful (Nakalema & Ssenyonga, 2013). However, too much stress or also known as distress can disrupt the study habits of a student, thus reducing his academic performance (Porwal & Kumar, 2014). Distress could also cause health problems such as depression, anxiety, and cardiovascular diseases (Joshi, 2005). Following academic stress, Gow, Bella, Kebar, and Hau (as stated by Bekoe et al., 2015) added that students are pressured to be successful in school


As of now, numerous students are suffering from academic stress that hinders them from learning properly (Porwal & Kumar, 2014). Because of severe stress, some suffer depression which sometimes reaches the point of taking his life.


The age bracket of the senior high school covers the late adolescent age of a student. The adolescent is the period of change from immaturity to maturity wherein a student undergoes many changes in terms of physical appearance, mental state, emotional stability, and social interaction (Dahl, 2004).

Some students were able to mature in their junior high school years but there would still be some who does not even in senior high school years especially if he is faced with worst-case school scenarios such as failing. Thus, it is important to know the academic stress level of senior high school students to help them grow across challenges towards the future.

Causes and Effects of Academic Stress on Students

The research of Shahmohammadi (2011) on 11th and 12th-grade high school students in secondary schools in Tehran shows that 26.1% of secondary students were distressed. The top causes of academic stress were examinations, subject difficulty, too many contents in a lesson, and making decisions towards tertiary education. In Bataineh’s study (as cited by Prabu, 2015) of academic stress among undergraduate students at King Saud University, common stressors were academic overloads, low motivation, and inadequate time to study. Furthermore, results showed that Grade 10 and 12 students who have lower grades experienced a higher level of stress compared to those students who have higher grades (Prabu, 2015) there is a high level of academic stress and exam anxiety. Due to academic stress, some students suffer academic psychological problems like academic pressure, academic anxiety, academic conflict, and academic frustration in school-related activities (Lal, 2014).

Prabu (2015) noted the significance of studying academic stress because students are considered as future pillars who would someday become the citizens responsible for the country.

Transitioning to the national level, college students at Leyte Normal University were researched regarding stress with the use of the Lazarus and Folkman Transactional Model of Stress and Coping (Mazo, 2015). The findings of the research showed thesis and school projects were the most common causes of stress. On the other hand, the most common effects of stress were sleepless nights and irritable or moody feelings. Based on the study entitled “Stressors and Stress Responses of Filipino College students” by Dy et al. (2015), the study discovered the causes of stress and response of Filipino college students concerning sex, course, and academic classification. Results revealed that workload due to subjects, time management, and academic difficulty of a subject was the main causes of stress for males and females. With regards to coping mechanisms, students under soft sciences like psychology, sociology, anthropology, or political science reacted with cognitive stress responses while students under hard sciences reacted with affective stress responses. These aspects need to be


Focusing on the local level, one research showed that test anxiety affects the academic performance of accounting students especially with first-year college students (Abellera & Ovejera, 2009).

Besides, Mandler and Sarason (as cited by Abellera & Ovejera, 2009) posit that a state of intense anxiety and stress alters the academic performance of a student. Therefore, raising awareness of the perceived academic stress would be essential for students. Teachers can prepare their students for more rigorous college challenges and nurture the life of a student as a professional towards the corporate and progressive world (Pallarito, 2013; Leal, 2012).

The K-12 Basic Education Curriculum in the Philippines

To cope with the international’s scholastic standards, the Philippine government officials have decided to implement the K-12 curriculum to heighten the level of Philippine Education (Canero &

Biliran, 2016). Two years were added to the basic education, namely Grade 11 and 12, which refers to senior high school. It consists of different tracks that cover specific strands. The K-12 Basic Education Curriculum, specifically the Senior High School curriculum is further distinguished into three types of subjects; namely: Core Subjects – subjects all senior high school students will take which include Language, Mathematics, Science, and others, Applied Track Subjects – subjects that develop skills using different content based on chosen track or stand. In connection with that, the academic track is classified into STEM, ABM, HUMSS, and GAS strand (“Senior High School”, n.d.). Some subjects in the K-12 curriculum are supposed to be learned in college such as General Chemistry I (An Introductory Guide to Senior High School, 2015). Concerning STEM strand, college students in STEM programs are faced with high difficulty due to the demands of subjects wherein superior academic performance is needed (Hall & Sverdlik, n.d.). This is in line with the research of Dr. Robert Coe (as cited by Shepherd, 2008) on General Certificate Secondary Education Advanced level examination of students in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland in which the results showed that science, math, and technology subjects were a whole grade harder as compared to non- science subjects such as Sociology and three – quarters of a grade harder than Business Studies. This means that STEM students in the Philippines could encounter higher academic stress than the other academic strands.

Furthermore, senior high school is relatively new in the Philippines. This is one of the many reasons why academic stress should be studied. Senior High School is a stage that leads to the future planning of a student’s life. From academic track to strands, a senior high school student has to make a choice and make the most out of it. Nhelbourne Mohammad (2016), an English and Islamic Instructor in Cotabato State University, who studied the perception of students on K-12, had concluded that the K-12 program would provide the academic background and skills needed for a student's occupation and career for sustainable development so every student would be good contributors towards the growing economy of the country. In connection with the aforementioned statement, the social, cultural, economic sectors of a nation depend on the youth and next generation. Therefore, universities and higher learning institutions should provide the best quality education.


2.1 Problem Statement

The study centralizes on the various aspects of academic stress as perceived by senior high school students under the academic track.

Specifically, it sought to answer the following:

1. What is the level of academic stress of senior high school – academic track students?

2. What is the difference between the academic stress of academic track students when compared according to their strand?

3. What is the relationship between the level of academic stress and academic strand?

3. Method

This study used the descriptive and comparative survey methods of research to determine the academic stress level of senior high school students under the academic track. The descriptive and comparative methods were used when considering two variables and establish a formal procedure to compare and conclude that one is higher than the other then a significant difference exists. Descriptive research is to provide an accurate account of characteristics of a particular individual or group (Weekes, 1992) and comparative research seeks to compare and contrast nations, cultures, societies, and institutions (Lewis-Beck et al., 2004).

3.1 Materials

The main focus of this research was to know the academic stress level of senior high school students.

The researchers conducted a pre-survey by handing out 15 questionnaires to senior high school students under academic track who were conveniently selected. The locale of the study was at the University of the Cordilleras Senior High School. The research was then limited only to Grade 12 Senior High School students under academic track because they are the first batch of senior high school and it is relatively new in the country.


3.1.1 Samples

The number of sample respondents was determined using Yamane’s formula at a 0.05 margin of error. The respondents were the senior high school students of the said institution. Table 1 shows the distribution of the population and sample size stratified according to the strand and the sample respondents were chosen via stratified random sampling (equal allocation).

Out of 2017 Grade 12 senior high school students, 364 students were used as a sample in conducting the survey. Each of the respondents was given the same questionnaires to answer. This research used stratified random sampling to apply an equal representation of senior high school students among ABM, STEM, GAS, and HUMSS.

Table 1: Distribution of Population and Sample Respondents by Strand Strand

Population Sample

Accountancy, and Business Management (ABM) 458 91

General Academic Strand (GAS) 207 91

Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS) 400 91

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) 952 91

Total 2017 364

3.1.2 Site

The implementation of the senior high school in the Philippines was first rolled out in 2016.

According to the Department of Education (DepEd), only seven out of 21 public schools in Baguio City offered senior high school in June 2016 of which only a few private schools are eligible to offer senior high school. University of the Cordilleras (UC) is one of the private institutions that offered all strands under Academic Track with a significant population. For that reason, it has been chosen as the locale of the study.


3.1.3 Procedures

The researchers surveyed each strand under academic track inside the campus to Grade 12 students.

At this point, the students would have had enough experience of academic stress under their respective strands. The researchers distributed the finalized questionnaires in the classes of the different strands of the selected sample of students under the academic track but before the researchers did this, they explained to the respondents the purpose and significance of the study. It was also explained that their answers would be kept with confidentiality. Upon getting the questionnaires, they were classified into the different academic strands and were processed through different statistical tools and statistical analysis.

3.2 Measurement

The researchers used a questionnaire in gathering the data from the sample respondents’ perceptions about academic stress.

To establish content validity and reliability of the questionnaire, the researchers conducted a pre- survey by handing out 15 questionnaires to senior high school students under academic track who were conveniently selected. The results of the pre-survey were the basis in constructing the items determining the academic stress of senior high school students under the academic track.

To determine the reliability of the questionnaire, it was pre-tested to 15 respondents. The reliability of the test was computed using Cronbach’s Alpha Method and the Split-Half Correlation Method.

With 15 sample respondents, the test in Cronbach’s Alpha yielded a coefficient of 0.7348 while Split- Half Correlation yielded a coefficient of 0.7474, both indicating acceptable reliability.

The questionnaire consisting of 15 items was derived and adapted from the research of Yumba (2008) entitled "Academic Stress: A Case of the Undergraduates" and the qualitative research of Carantes et al. (2017) entitled "Weight of Scholastic Dilemma: Academic Stress Encountered by UC Grade 12 STEM Students" specifically to determine the academic information on which strand does the students belong to and to measure the academic stress perceived by the senior high school students.


3.3 Data Analysis

The following statistical tools were used in analysing and interpreting the data:

Mean (Rounding-off): also known as the arithmetic average of the scores and is the most common measure of central tendency. This statistical tool was used in interpreting the level of academic stress perceived by students from the four strands under the academic track. This statistical tool was used in the first sub-problem.

Table 2: The Level of Academic Stress

One-way ANOVA and Duncan’s Multiple Range Test as post-hoc test: One-way ANOVA is a statistical tool used to verify the main and existing effects of more than one independent factor on a criterion variable. This tool is used to identify the significant difference in the level of academic stress perceived by students according to strand. This statistical tool was used in the second sub-problem because since there are four strands under the academic track namely ABM, GAS, HUMSS, and STEM. These strands were the grouping variables and the academic stress level was the response variable. Duncan’s multiple range test was used to analyse the specific differences when it was found out that there are indeed significant differences in the academic stress of students when compared along their strand.

Chi-Squared Statistic: is a statistical test used to compare observed results with expected results. The purpose of this test is to determine if a difference between observed data and expected data is due to chance, or if it is due to a relationship between variables being studied. This statistical tool was used in the third sub-problem since two variables were included in the research study which is academic stress and academic strand.

Rating Interval Qualitative Description

Level of Academic




2 3



1.50-2.49 2.50-3.49


Strongly disagree

Disagree Agree

Strongly agree


Moderate High

Very High

The situation gives low to no academic stress.

The situation gives moderate academic stress.

The situation gives high academic stress.

The situation gives too much academic stress.


3.3.1 Validity and Reliability

The first objective of this study was to describe the academic stress of senior high school – academic track students. In order to this, a questionnaire derived from the works of Yumba (2008) and Carantes et al. (2017) was utilized. Before gathering of actual data, the questionnaire was pilot tested first to assure reliability, and results showed that the all items in the questionnaire measure a single construct, that is, academic stress. The questionnaire was then administered to Grade 12 students using stratified random sampling. The data gathered was then analysed through mean – rounding off approach. Same data was also used in determining if significant differences exist among the academic stress of the students when compared along their respective strand, and in identifying if significant relationship exists between the academic stress and strand of the students.

4. Results and Discussion

The following table shows the level of academic stress as perceived by senior high school students.

Table 3: Tabulation of Level of Academic Stress perceived by Academic Track Students Strand Mean Level of Academic Stress Explanation

ABM 2.6227 High The situation gives high academic


GAS 2.7172 High The situation gives high academic


HUMSS 2.6864 High The situation gives high academic


STEM 2.5150 High The situation gives high academic


Academic Track

2.6353 High The situation gives high academic


Results from this study revealed a grand mean of 2.6353 in the level of academic stress. This means that all senior high school academic strands are experiencing a high level of academic stress based on the academic stress scale (Rao, 2012) and survey modified by Psychologist Wycliffe Yumba (2008) on his study of academic stress of undergraduate students in Linkoping University. Findings of the present study agree with the study of Sun, Strodl, and Deb (as cited by Prabu, 2015) in five private schools in Kolkata, India which showed that students studying in grade 12 (senior high) experienced high levels of academic stress due to academic pressure from parents. Deb et al (2014) added that academic pressure was more prevalent among low-grade students for them to perform better in academics.


However, findings from this study suggest that the 2.6353 grand mean academic stress level is high though it’s very close to moderate. Based on Table 2, the lowest possible mean for high stress is 2.51 which only shows a difference of 0.1253 to the grand mean. The study of Akande et al. (2014) on secondary school students in FCT (Federal Capital Territory), Nigeria experienced low and medium levels of stress. It was expected that secondary school students would experience higher stress levels because of the curriculum in secondary schools and the nature of adolescence in secondary students (Kumar & Akoijam, 2017). One possible reason for low and medium stress levels of secondary school students in FCT is the general adaptations of Nigerians to situations (Akande et al, 2014). Studies reported that appropriate coping strategies and adaptation to stressful events can minimize the effect of stress (Park & Adler, 2003) and can help in the recovery of high-stress levels or distress.

The high academic stress level of students implies that they take academics seriously. This is in line with the study of Harlina et al. (2014) that students with high and severe stress levels had a higher Cumulative Grade Points Average. Although students get high grades if they put their utmost effort into school activities, these students’ mental, physical and psychological health is put at risk (Eltringham, 2014). Contrary to the high-stress level, Dr. Megan Reitz (as cited by Eltringham, 2014) found that students perform better and make better decisions at moderate stress levels. Students gain confidence if they have control over stressful situations (Khan, 2013). It is possible that senior high school students can perform better in their academics if the high academic stress could be lowered into moderate stress levels through proper coping skills.

Table 4 illustrates the top stressors in the different academic stress of senior high school students.

Table 4: The Rank of the Stressors per Strand

Statements Rank


I feel bothered in some group works if my

group mates do not contribute to the output. 1 2 1 1 1

I feel sad and hopeless when I get a low score

in quizzes or tests even after doing my best. 3 3 3 x 3

I feel worried being unable to pass a

requirement. 2 1 2 3 2

I have some teachers who teach so fast and

hard to understand. x x x 2 4

Dealing with uncooperative group mates was found to be the top stressor in ABM, HUMSS, and STEM strand and 2nd top stressor in the GAS strand. Students seem to find it difficult to appreciate group work experience if they cannot openly express their ideas and opinions (Allan, 2016). Some students tend to slack if one of their group mates is highly capable of doing the group task. This shows that group works might only bring stress to students if teachers are not prepared to address the student’s concerns. However, Johnson et al (as cited by Brame & Biel, 2015) stated that group works


It was found that feeling worried about being unable to pass a requirement is the top stressor in the GAS strand. Misra, Mckean, West, and Russo (as cited by Nakalema & Ssenyonga, 2013) mentioned that the requirement to meet deadlines due to heavy workload contributes to the stress level of students. One possible reason is that penalties or deductions are usually applied to the score of the late requirement. Another scenario is that some teachers do not accept late requirements which automatically means zero. This helps explains why students are stressing themselves to rush their requirements. It also forces the students to pass a requirement just for the sake of compliance.

However, meeting the deadlines should not be overlooked because it teaches discipline and professionalism (Easterby, 2010) which is essential to the growth of a student.

Some teachers who teach so fast and hard to understand ranked as a top stressor only in the STEM strand. The nature of the STEM subjects is known to be difficult and rigorous. This is evident on the GCSE and GCSE A – level wherein science, math, and technology subjects ranked higher than non – science subjects in terms of difficulty (Roberts, 2008). STEM subjects are usually intended to teach students the fundamentals needed in the industry which incorporates the field of technology, engineering, medicine, and business (Chitate, 2016). This explains the difficulty of STEM subjects because of the responsibility that a STEM student will carry after finishing a STEM major. In connection with all the stressors, Bedewy and Gabriel (2015) noted that it is important to note and assess the stressors since it is the main factor that affects the stress level of students.

Table 5 shows the difference in the academic stress of the academic track students compared concerning their strand.

Table 5: The Difference between the Academic Stress of Academic Track Students when Compared According to Strand

Strand Mean F p-value

ABM 2.6227AB 3.176* 0.024

GAS 2.7172A

HUMSS 2.6864A

STEM 2.5150B

* – Significant (<0.05 p-value)


With 95% confidence, there indeed exists a significant difference between the academic stress of the different strands. Specifically, GAS and HUMSS have significantly higher academic stress than STEM. According to an interview with teachers who are teaching under all the academic strands due to the student's underestimation in terms of the difficulty of subjects acquired under the GAS strand, they did not expect such level of difficulty. With this, when they reached senior high, they are not mentally prepared for the upcoming requirements under the chosen strand because it was stereotyped that GAS and HUMSS strand is the easiest strand compared to STEM and ABM because STEM and ABM strand focuses more on Major Science and Math courses. Their lack of preparation would lead to an increased level of academic stress due to the unfamiliar course of study faced which will affect the student’s overall academic performances and would develop a certain amount of pressure on the students.

Furthermore, the academic stress of ABM and STEM are closely statistically equal. This result supports our hypothesis stating that there a significant difference between the academic stresses of academic track students when compared according to strand. In terms of course content, strands under STEM and ABM have similar traits. One trait that could be seen in both strands would be their creativity as this is according to an interview conducted with the teachers who handled the four academic strands due to this creativity, we can see that their brains are hardwired to be critical thinkers which contribute to the factor that they are statistically equal. Another trait would be their resiliency, resiliency in their mental and emotional fortitudes, as also said by the teacher, because of this healthy trait ABM and STEM also have higher coping capabilities. Another trait similar to both strands would be their awareness towards their subject courses that would be hard as also stated by a teacher that and because of this the STEM and ABM students had more time to prepare and ready their mind-sets for the complex math subject courses.

This result supports our hypothesis stating that there is a significant difference between the academic stress of academic track students when compared according to strand. This is contrary to the research of Dr. Rober Coe (as cited by Shepherd, 2008) based on GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and A – levels (GCSE Advanced Level) of one million pupils. Results showed that a GCSE Advanced level, science, math, and technology subjects were a whole grade harder as compared to non-science subjects such as Sociology and three–quarters of a grade harder than Business Studies. However, at GCSE normal level, sciences have only a little higher difficulty as compared to non-science subjects (“Achieving top grades in science subjects more difficult”, 2008).

In addition to that, Dr. Robert stated that a student with a grade of C in Biology will be able to do more than a student with a grade of B in Sociology based on a school’s admission system. Researchers Atkinson and Mayo (as cited by Portz, 2015) somehow agree with the idea of Dr. Robert Coe, which they stated that STEM subjects are more important than humanities or arts subject since STEM graduates have a greater contribution in society than an individual with a humanities or arts degree.


The following table shows the relationship of academic stress and academic strand.

Table 6: The Relationship of Academic Stress and Academic Strand

𝜲𝟐 p-value

13.528NS 0.140

NS – Not Significant

The researchers found out the there is no significant relationship between academic stress and academic strand through the chi-square test, moreover, the p-value backs up this finding because a p- value of 0.140 means that there is no significance between their relationship. This means that regardless of the academic strand, the academic stress experienced by the students is high.

In connection to the findings, it also means that every academic strand experienced a fairly high amount of stress contrary to what rumours and the hypothesis “The level of academic stress of senior high school students is dependent on their academic strand.” The researchers claim to be because it revealed that academic stress depends on “what type of student are you?” It was revealed that GAS and HUMSS appeared to be the most stressed followed by ABM and was discovered that STEM experienced the least stress among the four strands. One factor that may cause these results is the lack of preparedness of students mentally or the so-called mental resiliency. Majority of students and teachers stereotyped that GAS would be of lesser difficulty because it is general but then students were not fully aware of what they will encounter in this strand.

The statistics are indeed surprising and results showed that the most labelled difficult strand (STEM) in terms of course content would be the least stressed. Since GAS was the most stressful strand, one reason that could affect this one is the preparation of the students. The researchers believe that junior high schools have prepared the incoming senior high school students to the academic track that they would need to pick up for the last two years of their high school years. One student said that when they were in Grade 10 they have presented the subjects that they will be offering for STEM and HUMMS strands and they had an assumption that it would be difficult. The students’ mind perhaps was set that they should be ready upon choosing STEM and accepted the fact that they would have a hard time with their subjects. The purpose of that is to prepare the students so when they enter the institution it would feel lighter because they have already prepared for the worse. Relating to the students of GAS and HUMSS that are labelled as easier than other strands did not expect the difficulty of the subjects offered. So basically, ABM and STEM students developed mental resiliency. These statements support the stereotyping of students and teachers that GAS is the easiest and relaxed strand among the other strands.


Another reason for this stereotyping is that students think that GAS is easy because there are no Math and Science courses in this strand compared to STEM and ABM. Even though that Math-related courses and Science-related courses are viewed as the most difficult subjects, it is not always true since there are other factors aside from academics that affects the stress level of a student. Based on the study of Owusu and Essel (2012) on the factors that affect the student’s stress level in Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences, it showed that working with new people was the main stressor under the Relationship Factor, while worries about the future were the main stressor in Environmental Factor. Furthermore, financial problems caused the highest level under Personal Factor.

Another factor to consider is that ABM and STEM are mathematically inclined strands. So, when we speak about mathematics, basically a lot of stress, a lot of mental difficulties are encountered with these strands. While for the GAS and HUMSS, it could be easy if the two strands have simple concepts to be discussed. The researchers’ study showed that GAS is the first and HUMSS is second, ABM is third, and lastly STEM. It was also noted that the fact that when talking about GAS and HUMSS, there are math subjects as well such as General Mathematics and Statistics and Probability so definitely they were surprised. STEM on the other hand has a lot of math and science subjects and was very well aware of the complexity of terms resulting in good preparedness. But what makes GAS more stressful than HUMSS is it's multidisciplinary. Students coming from GAS can pursue courses such as Engineering, Accountancy, Political Science, Criminology, and the likes, making them the undecided strand. So, the students tend to change their mind in choosing a strand.

For HUMSS, although they have specialization in that strand it is still broad in a sense that for example in Psychology. Psychology may be a social science course but its foundation lies in sciences and statistics which could be tackled under the STEM strand as well. So, the whole point here is that students from HUMSS are somewhat undecided unlike students from ABM and STEM where their choices have been narrowed down.

5. Conclusion

Based on the results, the researchers come up with the following conclusions:

1. Academic track students are experiencing high level of academic stress due to uncooperative group mates, failed tests or quizzes, a requirement not submitted, and teachers.

2. There exists a significant difference between the academic stress of academic track students when compared according to their strand. The highest level of academic stress is

experienced by the GAS students while the STEM students are experiencing the lowest level of academic stress.

3. The academic track students experience a high level of academic stress, in disregard to their chosen strand, and they feel academically stressed due to the given as their main stressors.


6. Acknowledgement

The researchers would like to extend their gratitude to the academic director and all staffs of the Senior High School Department, University of the Cordilleras for their support in every step of the research process. The researchers would also like to thank the respondents for their time in completing the questionnaire. Lastly, the researchers would like to acknowledge also the help extended by C.P.S.

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