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How can students with diabetes get accommodations for taking school tests?

Getting accommodations if you have diabetes may be easier if you already have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), Section 504 Plan or other formal written plan at your high school. Don't have one? You can still request accommodations from the testing agencies; you'll just have to provide the right documentation (and even if you have a plan in place, you may still need additional paperwork).

Because the process of obtaining accommodations can take several months, it is essential to begin early. Students who plan to take the PSAT should contact their Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) coordinator the semester before the test. For the Advanced Placement exams, let your coordinator know as soon as you sign up. You'll need to register separately with each testing agency you plan to use.

At a minimum, you should be prepared to supply a letter from your doctor confirming your diagnosis and detailing specific accommodations needed. With standardized testing, testing agencies have strict policies that prevent students from taking additional or extended breaks or bringing snacks, drinks and electronic devices into testing areas unless they have advance permission. Therefore, remember that you have to specifically request any necessary diabetes supplies and equipment, snacks, bathroom breaks and extended breaks.

You may be placed in a separate room or testing location with a separate proctor. And don't be surprised if the accommodations you are granted differ from those you receive at your high school.

If you feel that you will not be able to complete Advance Placement (AP) exams or International Baccalaureate (IB) assessments, do not begin them; document your blood glucose and all other symptoms, and immediately contact your Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) coordinator or IB coordinator to speak about rescheduling options.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.