SAT Testing Accomodation

We just went through the nightmare of getting an accomodation for SAT Testing for my son, a junior in high school, and wanted to give those with older teens information about the process. My advice is to start early before the PSAT if possible! (We started in January and three tests have been missed; He finally received his accomodation for the last SAT test of the school year on June 4th).

For Type 1 Diabetes, they requested the following:

1).Clear statement of disability by doctor including Diagnosis, Date of Diagnosis and Test Results
2). Summary of assessment procedures and instruments used (pump, etc) including Narrative summary of evaluation results with the symptoms and impact by doctor
3).A rationale for each accommodation recommended (below is what we asked for)
a.Unscheduled Breaks (Clock is “stopped”) should be provided as needed for a Medical Emergency. Low blood sugar will require testing and treatment with glucose tablets, juice or another sugar source; Malfunction of the Insulin Pump, which will signal an Alert, will require the change of the pump site; High blood sugar will require testing and the administration of insulin with the Insulin Pump PDM. The test should not be resumed until the student’s blood glucose is back within normal range.
b.Permission for Medication/Food/Drinks should be allowed for this student. A sugar containing food will be needed for low blood glucose; Water and more frequent restroom breaks may be needed if blood glucose is high; Type 1 Diabetics should never be separated from their medication, medical supplies or their emergency sugar source.
4).Other relevant information that might help us understand the student’s needs
5).Evaluator’s name, title, professional credentials, license number, address, date of assessment and phone numbers

The High School also had to provide the following in addition to forwarding the above information:

• Teacher observations
• Formal education plan between Nurse & Teachers
• A rationale for each accommodation recommended

The problems were numerous. Part of the problem seemed to be faxing the information instead of using the new SAT Disability Online System (only the schools have this so you have to rely on them to get this done correctly) which added a month to the process for SAT to scan the documents. Students will only be allowed the accomodations that are “formally required” by agreements or 504 plans at school so keep those up to date during this time frame. Students will not be given “extra time” unless they receive “extra time” when they take tests at school due to lack of concentration due to blood sugar problems. The Stop the Clock option only lets students recoup the time lost during their extra break to take care of blood sugar problems. Without this accomodation, if your student has to leave the room during a section of the test, they do not get to finish that section.

Diabeties is Hard but this did not need to be this hard.

Thank you for sharing this with us… I’m sure it will come in handy!

I wonder if it is the same grief with the ACT? AP Tests?

woah!!! I never thought of that problem. does this happen even when the student has a 504 plan (or whatever it is called)?

You have to do this separately from the 504. Your child’s guidance counselor should be on top of it, but it’s not a bad idea to start the discussion and paperwork as soon as your child starts high school.

I looks like the College Board, which administers the PSAT, SAT, Subject Tests and AP programs, has a common application process for their programs. The ACT test is administered by a different company and has a similar, but separate application process.

The 504 plan just gives you rights at a public school. The PSAT, SAT, Subject, AP and ACT Exams are administered by private companies. Since almost all colleges require that you take one of these exams, they hold all of the power.

Your school may allow for its premisis to be used as a testing site but the tests will be administered by College Board and ACT employees. They will not know your student’s circumstances and will only give the accomodations that are approved prior to the test.

I am so glad to see this post. Thank you for sharing this information. Our guidance counselor just mentioned this “letter” so she can register the information for our son Cole who just got diagnosed. She said the 504 plan doesn’t cover this “letter” and to get it done asap. Thank you for the kick in the pants! Good luck to your son.

My son is also a junior - fortunately his high school advisor approached us in his freshman year to go through this process. The stress these kids are under just on the test front is enough without additional hassles! The school advisor will also work on accommodations for the ACT (as Hockey Mom states the AP is also college board so the same accommodation code will apply to all their exams) - we only had to supply the school with all the needed information once and then they handled it with all the players.

My son’s first day back at school after diagnosis last school year was the day the sophomore class took the PSAT. Needless to say, he did not do too well. In the meantime, he went on the Omnipod pump and re-took the PSAT this last Fall and it was then that he was constantly worried that the pump would occlude during the test.

It is good that your advisors were on top of this. I think it kind of sneaked up on us.

all right, I just had the most maddening conversation with the guidance secretary who knew, to make a long, frustrating conversation short… Should I go through the high school, or try to find someone with a modicum of knowledge at the college board.
This is so hard. I did not go to school in the States and the whole system is mystery to me.