Berrie Center patient Arianna Gehan is a hard-working freshman at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. She took a minute out of her busy schedule to reflect back on her experience taking the SATs. Most important, she said keep stress levels low, and have an abundance of snacks on hand.
Berrie Center: What was your strategy when it came to meals before the SAT?
AG: I found that dinner the night before is just as important as breakfast. I would definitely recommend having food that you are comfortable with and know how to carb count for dinner and then breakfast. (Check out Dr. Ileana Vargas’s list of power breakfasts)
Berrie Center: What steps did you take to get in the right mindset for the big day?
AG: I made sure to have everything (juice, snacks, calculator, pencils, identification, and the paper you need to get in) prepared the night before. I always had a granola bar because they are quiet and easy to eat quickly, and I have eaten them many times, so I know the right carb count.
Berrie Center: Did you ever get questioned about the presence of your insulin pump or other diabetes supplies?
AG: No. The proctors aren't mean people, they don't want to be spending their Saturdays in school either. I never had an issue with someone questioning why I still had my pump on me during the test, and I was able to check it at any point during the testing and the breaks.
Berrie Center: What did you do if you felt high or low during the test?
AG: Adrenaline and test taking tends to make me go high, so when I go high during a test, I make the appropriate corrections. However, I think it is important not to overcorrect. I believe that it is better to have a stable blood sugar (even if it is a bit high) than to be on a rollercoaster where you are suddenly more focused on your blood sugar than the actual test.
Berrie Center: Any final words of encouragement for your fellow test takers with type 1 diabetes?
AG: I think it's important to just think of the SAT as any other test. Although it is longer, by this point in high school you are probably an expert at taking tests. Don't overstress, try to keep things as normal to a regular test for school as you can.
Thanks, Arianna. Best of luck in college!