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Taking the ACT without accommodations

Discussion in 'Parents of Teens' started by Amy C., Apr 10, 2011.

  1. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

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    My son and I decided he will take the ACT test without accommodations. After taking two practice tests where a real test was simulated, we knew what to eat for breakfast and what the bolus should be to keep him steady for 4 hours. He never eats a snack in the morning and generally stays steady until lunch.

    The sugar right before the test (taken outside the building) was a little low for an hour after eating -- 112, but he went in with the meter, pump, strips, pricker and glucose tabs in his pockets. He wasn't planning to let them know he had any of this. Other students brought cell phones, but were ordered to turn them off and put them away. Anyone who used the cell phone during the test had to go home right then (one kid did this -- unbelieveably, took it out while instructions were read to the next section and started to text). Another student was eating during a break and was told to stop and his food was taken away.

    Since there were watching the students like hawks, my son decided to leave everything in his pockets unless he felt low. His play, if he felt low, was to discretely eat a couple of tabs.

    He was able to take the test with about 15 other students in the room -- circumstances that matched his practice tests and increased his comfort level. (They had 17 other classrooms of about 20 students) Accommodations would have required he go to a room by himself.

    They had one break to go to the bathroom and get a drink of water and a couple of stand and stretch breaks.

    He ended up at 189 at 12:15 pm and felt good through the whole test.

    This strategy may not work for everyone, but it did for my son. Hopefully he did well enough where he won't need to take the test again.
     
  2. jilmarie

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    Glad that it worked out. I have taken several standardized tests without accommodations. I did attempt to get a "personal item exception" for my insulin pump for my board exam last year, but it ended up being a huge pain and the testing center never actually got the paperwork anyway. I don't have any official accommodations for my regular med school tests, so it's hard to prove that I need them for any standardized tests. I keep my pump on vibrate, have tabs in my pocket, and use my meter during breaks. It works for me and there is much less hassle. In the event of something going really poorly, you can always void your test at the end.

    I definitely understand why people request accommodations, but I wanted to echo that it can be done without them.
     
  3. obtainedmist

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    Molly did the SAT without accommodations and did just fine!
     
  4. MamaC

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    Pretty much what we did for 2 SATs and the ACT....but he ate a carb free breakfast and we checked overnight to make sure he could go in without Novolog in play.
     
  5. Daniel's Mom 1993

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    Daniel has taken the ACT 3 times without accomadations and did fine. He is on the pod but actually took it off right before the test because he was afraid it would occlude. The other two he was on Lantus. He did not want to be in a room by himself either
     
  6. joan

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    My son never wanted accommodations and also did fine.
     
  7. nanhsot

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    That's great that it worked out so well! My son had a much harder time so we have decided to pursue special accomodation for the SAT. For the PSAT his adrenalin shot him up VERY high and he just could not concentrate at all and was unable to do a correction. He is normally a good tester (paper tests that is) but he did average. So we are pursuing special accommodation, which we tried to avoid.
     
  8. Ali

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    FWIW
    Special requests are not noted on testing. So colleges will never know that you had any special treatment, for any reason. If you have any concern I would say get them. Knowing you have them can reduce stress even if never used. Ali
     
  9. Amy C.

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    I agree that you should seek the accommodations on the test. An adrenalin high is tough to deal with -- it can take hours to come down for my son.

    Do you have a place that offers practice tests? This helped my son immensely. He knew what to expect which lowered the stress.
     
  10. nanhsot

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    Well, honestly this year he is only a sophomore, kind of. He's going to be a mid year/December graduation in 2012 so he still has next year to do his "official" SAT, so I consider this summer's test to be his practice. We're also enrolling him in a pretty extensive SAT prep course next year, as a homeschooler SAT tests are pretty important so we're doing more than we might have.

    All my paperwork is in, so we'll see. I already signed him up for the test (June) but the disabilities office said I can call and add the special accom. once I have the approval #. I honestly don't want much, just want him to be able to pull out a meter and test and do corrections during the test at his desk. I don't anticipate a low, but want him to be able to take glucose if needed, so that's all I really asked for, was for him to have that stuff on his body during the test.

    We'll see. He likes taking standardized tests, so he's not terribly worried.
     
  11. Bigbluefrog

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    We had a standardize test in a private room, the timing was during a new pump 2 week start where she was still checking bg every 2 hours.

    This was very helpful as she was low a few times and needed to treat.


    I think it depends on the person and one should not feel bad if they need extra time to keep their bg at a safe level.

    The other thing is no electronics are allowed so what happens if your a pumper?
    Our school is pretty small and the guidance office is very accomadating. It makes the whole process easier.
     
  12. Amy C.

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    You are correct that the site makes all the difference.

    My son wasn't allowed a refund, as the testing site coordinator said he was moved before the test started. I didn't want to fight it as it was a "she said, he said" situation. The only option we were given was to score or not score the test.

    I didn't approach the lack of accommodations as I didn't understand what they were.

    I sent in paperwork to change the accommodations to where he can stop the clock to test. The next test is AP U.S. History and he will be tested at his school.

    I think it important to communicate with the testing site to be sure they have the same understanding of the accommodations as you do.
     
  13. TerpSteph

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    When we first requested the SAT accomodations, it was a couple of weeks after Matt was diagnosed and he was on NPH/Reg. We just couldn't chance having him take the test without his meter and a snack. For the Praxis, he took it at a test center and no electronics were permitted. We requested permission to have his pump, meter and snacks as necessary. As far as regular college classes, he's never requested any accomodations for exams.
     

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