Are there techniques used in tutoring and interventions that can be mimicked during the testing (i.e. using a scrap piece of paper; counting out loud; giving the test verbally)? Or is it a matter of test anxiety? If that’s the case, perhaps practice tests during interventions and tutoring might help? Maybe starting with two test questions and then working up to a full test?
My son is a very verbal learner and he processes questions better when given verbally. So he was read the questions. Even now when he comes across a word math problem, he struggles if he is left alone to read the question and figure out the answer. But if the question is read to him, he completely understands how to figure out the solution. Testing was also hard because the classroom was always so quiet. He said the quiet made it even harder to concentrate since he would instead focus on the sound of the rain falling on the roof; or the hum of the air conditioner; or watch another student tap their foot. So he was allowed to get up and stretch to help regain his focus. He was also turned away from any clock. Since he would become anxious if he saw time was running out, and given about 5 to 10 extra minutes to complete the test.
After a couple years of successful testing and a LOT of praise, a ton of the test anxiety has gone away.