Hi everyone! I took my SAT on Saturday and I thought I would share with you all how difficult it is to take standardized tests with Type 1. (If you have T1D, you already know what a pain in the butt this is.)
It is such a process just to register for a standardized test. Add Type 1 into the mix and it gets a lot more complicated. For me, the first step was getting my endocrinologist to write me a doctor’s note explaining to the College Board what accommodations people with Type 1 need. In my case, I get something called “stop the clock testing” which is basically a precautionary plan in case my blood sugar is high or low in the middle of a test. If I don’t feel well, I just tell the proctor to please “stop the clock” and I can take as long as I need to either drink a juice, or if my blood sugar is high, wait for it to come down. The only down side to this, is that for all standardized tests I have to be in a separate room all by myself which isn’t entirely terrible. Usually it’s a room with air conditioning which is good and it’s also always quiet. We sent my doctor’s letter to the College Board “requesting the accommodation” as they call it. Around three weeks later, we got a letter in the mail from the College Board saying they had fulfilled my request of “stop the clock testing.”
The night before the SAT, I printed up my admission ticket and the letter the College Board had sent me just in case anyone gave me any trouble about my accommodations. I also packed a total of 8 juice boxes and 4 packs of fruit snacks in case I was low. The night before I also had to charge my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) receiver because even though it goes to my phone (I wear the Dexcom G5), I was not allowed to use it on the test even if it was only for checking my blood sugar which is frustrating.
The next morning, I woke up at 6:45, got dressed and went to my school to take the test. However, because I had these “special accommodations,” I had to show up to school at 7:30 instead of 7:45 to ensure everything went smoothly. When I got to my school, I walked in to the main hall to see my room assignment. I saw four different charts of people taking the SAT. Each chart had two columns, name and room number. I must have looked for a full two minutes before I could find my name. Then, I looked to the far right and on a whole separate piece of paper in HUGE letters, I see “Morgan Panzirer please report to the library.” Ok well that was pretty embarrassing. Just the fact that I was taking the SAT was made into such a bigger deal than it needed to be. I walked into the library and spoke to the proctor there. She showed me to the room I would be taking the test in. Once I arrived, I put a juice and pack of fruit snacks on my desk in case I needed them during the test.
Luckily my blood sugar stayed pretty steady throughout the whole test but I glanced at my receiver every twenty minutes or so to make sure I wasn’t rising or falling too quickly. All in all, the test was a success I guess; I am still waiting for my scores to come back. Although my proctor did a phenomenal job the whole time, it frustrates me that I had to “apply” for my accommodations and I was treated so differently than the general population. All I wanted to do was to take the test like everyone else was. I didn’t need a big scene to be made.