News Release

A wearable dataset for predicting in-class exam performance

Reports and Proceedings

NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Stress has a negative impact on physical health, reduces work productivity, and results in significant annual costs for industries and healthcare. While high stress is known to raise the risk of cardiovascular disease and have negative effects on mental health, It also has key effects on the ability of one to complete tasks by both excessively high or excessively low stress. There has been growing research interest on understanding how real-world stress impacts our body and performance, at work and across life activities

Unfortunately, attempts to simulate their impact in the laboratory or elsewhere are less useful than datasets gathered in real-world circumstances. As a result, researchers have access to fewer real-world stress datasets. Even rarer indeed are such datasets used in longitudinal investigations on the same subjects over time.

Real-world situations are also unrestricted environments. Research-grade equipment is frequently inaccessible, and motion artifact contamination is pervasive. These continue to be some of the biggest barriers to automated emotion decoders outside of the research labs in daily life.

To address the above-mentioned gap, Rose Faghih and her former PhD students Md. Rafiul Amin and Dilranjan Wickramasuriya performed an experiment, in which a set of students' physiological data was gathered over the course of three exams. They used a smartwatch-like wearable device and collected multimodal physiological data. The use of the smartwatch-like wearable device was to provide a seamless data collection experience for the students participating in the experiment. 

The investigation shows that it is possible to link the variations in the physiological signals to the exam performance. More details about this study can be found in the corresponding publication titled "A Wearable Exam Stress Dataset for Predicting Grades using Physiological Signals."

To enable other researchers, use this dataset for additional investigations, the research team has made the de-identified data publicly available on the PhysioNet platform. A Wearable Exam Stress Dataset for Predicting Cognitive Performance in Real-World Settings is available at:

Ultimately, the researchers believe it would be extremely beneficial to consider how exam performance and the stress that goes along with it interact. It will allow for a wide range of potential applications with the aim of enhancing personal performance. This may, for instance, assist scientists  in developing effective interventions to improve each person's performance and increase productivity within a company. Additionally, the knowledge may be used in online and remote learning contexts to connect with students effectively and improve learning outcomes.


About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute. A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences as part of a global university, with close connections to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. NYU Tandon is rooted in a vibrant tradition of entrepreneurship, intellectual curiosity, and innovative solutions to humanity’s most pressing global challenges. Research at Tandon focuses on vital intersections between communications/IT, cybersecurity, and data science/AI/robotics systems and tools and critical areas of society that they influence, including emerging media, health, sustainability, and urban living. We believe diversity is integral to excellence, and are creating a vibrant, inclusive, and equitable environment for all of our students, faculty and staff. For more information, visit

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