Classroom Accommodations to Reduce Test Anxiety

Teachers and parents see an increase in anxiety for many students when they’re required to take exams. Test anxiety can inhibit memory and affects the retrieval of learned information. It prevents kids from thinking clearly which makes it difficult for them to recall learned information. Schools can’t prevent testing from happening however, there are ways to help kids cope with test anxiety.

Suggested classroom accommodations:

  1. Extra time and warnings before transitions

  2. Preferential seating (near the door, near the front of the room, near the teacher’s desk)

  3. Clearly stated and written expectations (behavioral and academic)

  4. Frequent check-ins for understanding

  5. Not required to read aloud in front of the class

  6. Extended time for tests

  7. Tests taken in a separate, quiet environment (to reduce performance pressure and distractions)

  8. Word banks and equation sheets. These are useful for kids who “go blank” when taking a test. Using one notecard for important facts, dates, etc. can be useful and lessen anxiety.

  9. Breaking down tests into smaller sections

  10. “Cool down” hall pass may be used to take a quick break from the classroom or testing environment. This privilege needs to be moderated by the teacher and not abused by the student.

About the author

Vikki Carrel

Vikki Carrel

Academic Language Therapist, Multi-book Author, National Speaker

Vikki empowers people! She is an Academic Language Therapist, multi-book author and a national speaker. Vikki grew up in Salt Lake City, met her husband at the University of Utah, and has owned several companies across the United States. In 2010, Vikki and her husband moved back to Utah from Doylestown, Pennsylvania and she founded Vikki Carrel & Company, a speaking and training organization. Read more about the Author

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