Social Stories on Test Anxiety

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Social stories can be important ways to help students with autism cope with new and unfamiliar situations. The social stories in this lesson focus specifically on tests and test-taking anxiety.

The Role and Importance of Social Stories

As someone who works with students on the autistic spectrum, you might use social stories, or explicit, clear, and student-centered scripts, to teach about the vocabulary, concepts, and major issues in a particular situation. This lesson offers social stories designed to help students with tests and test anxiety.

Test Anxiety Social Stories

Social Story for Tests in Class

Sometimes, my teacher gives me a test. A test is something that lets me show what I know and do not know about a subject.

Usually, tests ask questions about something we have been studying in class. My job is to do the best I can to answer the questions.

Tests can give me different feelings. Sometimes, taking a test makes me feel worried. When I feel worried, I feel like crying. My heart starts beating fast, and I forget answers that I usually know.

When I feel worried, it helps me to take deep, slow breaths and count to ten.

When I feel worried, it also helps me to tell someone how I am feeling. I can say, 'Ms. Adams, I feel worried right now!' She will know how to help me.

Sometimes, taking a test makes me feel angry at my teacher. When I feel angry, I want to hit or scratch. My body feels very tight, and my mouth gets dry.

When I get angry, it helps me to take a deep breath in and out and count to ten.

When I feel angry, it also helps me to play with my fidget or squeeze something really hard. I put the angry feeling into the thing I am squeezing.

When I am taking a test, I only do the best I can. I tell myself that it does not matter if I am perfect.

When I am finished with my test, I tell Ms. Adams that I am done. I smile to show that I am proud of myself for finishing even if I was worried or angry.

Social Story for Standardized Tests

Sometimes, I have to take a special test that shows the principal or the school what I have been learning this year. The test might be about reading, writing or math.

This is called a standardized test. Usually, standardized tests give me lists of answers, and I have to read the questions carefully and choose the answer that makes the most sense.

Sometimes, standardized tests are in rooms that I have not seen before, or I might have to follow the rules and guidelines that feel really new to me. I have to work quietly, stay separate from my teacher and classmates, and finish in a certain amount of time.

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