High blood sugar and exams?

Hi everyone! I have a question about exams and blood sugars! This is my first true college semester with diabetes-last semester I was using very little insulin and did not really have to deal with blood sugar spikes. This semester, however, my numbers are all over the place especially during exams. When I am running high I have a really hard time focusing, does anyone else feel this way when they take exams and are high? If so, how do you handle it with the professors? I am starting to worry about my grades slipping, especially when I am already working as hard as possible! ( & I want to make sure I am not the only one who has a brain freeze during exams after diagnosis =] )

Hey, my mom makes sure to tell my teachers that if my blood sugar is too high/low to not let me take the test.  I make it up.  I'm not in college, but I thought it might help.

Your professors will understand if it's a medical condition.

I know I can't concentrate when my blood sugar is too high.  I zone out.

Hope this helped.


I can usually concentrate fine even with very high blood sugar.   Things get really tough with low blood sugar for me.

stress from exams (stress hormones of any kind) can make your blood sugar rise.  You can combat with insulin, or with stress management.  I had stressful years in college, it's part of the deal.  but things got better with time.  No I never asked for any special consideration with my professors, however there were no issues with me testing, using insulin, or eating in class or during exams.

good luck.

I know a lot of parents on here ask for postponements for their school-aged kids on tests if they're high. But, for me personally, I never did that in college or grad school. Instead, I would test (before CGM's existed...) about a 1/2 hour to an hour before a big test to give me time to correct any problems before the test. Once in grad school, I asked if I could wait 5 minutes to start a test because I was low. I do feel crappy with highs, but I figure it's not too much different than dragging yourself in for a big test with a cold (because it doesn't have cognitive effects like lows do).

I don't mean to minimize what you're feeling though. If T1 is new to you, it probably feels worse with a low or high. So, while you adjust, you may need to work something out with your professors. But, my concern for you is if you reschedule many tests for highs, you'll end up more overwhelmed and behind...

I would also cut yourself a break. It sounds like you're a hardworking, good student. Hopefully once you get through this semester, the spring will be smoother. This is unrelated to D, but as a freshman at Georgetown, I seriously thought my life was OVER when I got a C in my intro to theology class -- I was devastated! But, I made it up with the rest of my grades and graduated with a 3.7 or something. Grad schools didn't seem to care about that one grade at all.

If you're running high a lot, don't be afraid to talk to the endo about raising your insulin. There's nothing wrong with taking more insulin if that's what your body needs!

I've never heard of highs affecting ability to concentrate. Unless it's a really severe high with ketones perhaps.  When I was in university, I once experienced a low during an exam and had to leave before completing it.  I had my doc write a note explaining what happened.  After that, I always made myself high (ie. 10.0; 180) before an exam.  Not that I think it's a good idea or even recommend it, but at the time it's what I did so that I didn't worry during the exam about going low.  It's possible that stress is causing your highs (and maybe even your ability to concentrate).

Im in university and in the thick of midterm season right now. my sugars have been all over the place lately too.. leaning towards the high end.

i know last year when i had less highs i was more sensitive too them, and beacuse of that when i was high i felt like absolute crap.. all the typical symptoms. which sometimes made it hard to focus on school. i wrote one of my midterms as high as a kite last year, but i still seemed to do fine.

 in general tho highs dont usually affect my concentration or my grades. i can concentrate less with lows than i can when my blood sugar is high.

and i have yet to tell any professors about my diabetes, other than when i have labs and need to bring a few snacks in the room.

try to lower it the best you can before going into your exam.. i always walk or bike to school if i find im way to high in the morning before class or an exam to try and lower it a bit... but then again im not on insulin yet so something else may work better for you :)

Thanks everyone for your input! =]

I know for my daughter we check her bg before and grade effecting test or districttest. If not within a good range for her she has to be given a chance to make it up at another time when her bg is good. For example in 1st grade one question ased to count the ballons and she misse it. I would go disscuss it with your professors. I have a child in elementry I hope this was some help.

Test stress commonly makes people high.  Think it's the fight or flight response that dumps a little extra glucose into the blood so we can take action in a stressful situation. 

Sarah is right on... highs can make you feel cloudy-headed, but no worse than having a cold or being sleep deprived.  I was diagnosed at age 4 and never delayed taking a test through school or college. 

I'm now 37 and have gone back to school to become a registered nurse.  I'll usually ask my professor on first day of class if it's okay for me to have my meter and glucose tablets with me during test, just in case I have an unexpected low.  But other than that, just make sure your numbers are as good as can be going into the test.