Assessments can trigger negative thoughts and feelings, especially when students’ disabilities are related to anxiety—here’s how to help these students address testing anxiety in a healthy way

5 ways to help special education students manage testing anxiety


Assessments can trigger negative thoughts and feelings, especially when students’ disabilities are related to anxiety—here’s how to help students address testing anxiety in a healthy way

Here are five strategies to help your students manage testing anxiety. As you consider them, it’s also important to be mindful of how, when, and with whom you implement them, because each student’s needs are unique.

1. Create an overall environment of regular assessment and self-monitoring in your classroom.

One of my goals as a teacher was to create a classroom culture that included normalizing assessment. Educators can do this by teaching a growth mindset and reducing the stigma surrounding failure. I like to do this by encouraging group work and problem solving, leading students to provide the “how” and “why” for their answers, teaching students to support classmates, and letting students fix mistakes. It is also helpful to have students get used to seeing their own data and tracking their own progress, whether on their IEP goals or classroom tests and quizzes. By creating an environment where it is okay to make mistakes, and then helping students track their own growth, you should see assessment anxiety start to decrease.

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at submissions@eschoolmedia.com.