Standardized Testing

Standardized tests, while stressful, can be essential for your higher education. Because of the importance of these tests, the rules can be strict on what you are allowed to have in the testing room. Many T1Ds apply for accommodations for these tests in case they run into any problems during test time. While you may be registered for accommodations with your school, you will have to apply for separate accommodations for these tests. This application process can be long and will differ for each separate test, but these accommodations can help you be successful even when diabetes may get in the way. We recommend talking with your parents and your diabetes care team to determine what sorts of accommodations you will need during a test.  

First Step: Letter from a Professional

If you are applying for accommodations for either the SAT® or the ACT®, you will need an official letter from your doctor to provide proof that you have diabetes. Make sure this letter includes: ✓ Age of diagnosis  ✓ Course of medical treatment ✓ Limitations diabetes puts on your testing experience ✓ How accommodations can help you


The SAT® is run through the College Board and uses Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) to register students for accommodations. You will have to register through your high school’s disability officer, because they are the only people who have access to submit the request through SSD. If you are registered for accommodations at your high school, they will already be familiar with your needs as a T1D. The whole process takes about seven weeks to be approved, so start as early as possible. The College Board website has a list of accommodation deadlines for tests, so keep an eye on those and mark them in your calendar! Once you are approved for accommodations, you will receive an SSD number via email and an Eligibility Letter.  You will use these when registering for the SAT®. Once you apply for the accommodations through the College Board and are approved, you will be approved until one year after your high school graduation date. Your accommodations are also approved for all other College Board tests, including SAT® Subject tests, PSAT®, and AP exams. On test day, make sure to bring your SSD Eligibility Letter and double check that your accommodations are in place.


The ACT® uses a similar process, but a different platform than the College Board for accommodations. It is called the Test Accessibility and Accommodations Center (TAA). Like the SSD system, only your high school’s disability officer can access the TAA, so the same approach applies with the ACT® test.  With the SAT®, you apply for accommodations before you register for the test, but with the ACT® you request accommodations when you register for the test itself. From there, ACT® will email you instructions on how to proceed with the process. It will take approximately two to four weeks for approval. After approval you will receive an email from ACT® with your approval, TAA PIN, and a list of your approved accommodations.

For more information on standardized testing accomodations, request your copies of our Off to College Booklets (for parents and students!).

Helpful Hints   
  • Don't be afraid to ask for what you need, i.e. accommodations during the testing process (see Chapter 9 of the ADA "Going to College with Diabetes" publication for templates you can use)
  • Provide documentation to the testing agencies. (Hint: Your 504 Plan, or another formal written plan, can be very useful for this purpose). Again, see Chapter 9 of the ADA "Going to College with Diabetes" publication for templates you can use.
  • Plan ahead....a whole semester ahead if possible.
  • Know what to ask for i.e. all your testing equipment, bathroom breaks, extended breaks, snacks, etc. (The "Tools You Can Use" article listed below can help with this).
  • Make copies of all accommodation application materials and bring them to your test. 
  • Stay organized and on top of filing your paperwork before the deadlines (a calendar with important dates and reminders will be a huge help).   
  • Start as early as possible.


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