Monday, August 17, 2009

GRE registration mayhem

For all those who register to take any ETS exam during a period of remission, a word to the wise: your condition may resurface at any time - plan ahead.

ETS is no better than any other bullshit company who makes its profit by performing one task and one alone. And even that task is performed in a malaise.

After returning from the ER this weekend, where the last 2.5mos of symptoms finally culminated, I attempted the impossible: getting disability accommodations through ETS for a previously scheduled exam.

Basically, their policy is that "if you had a medical emergency, you're out $75-$225". In their defense, I may have navigated the loopholes of this process more efficiently had I not been high on morphine.

What happened:
I called ETS to see if I could receive disability accommodations to be applied to the date of my previously scheduled exam (the end of this month). They told me to immediately cancel my current appt., submit request forms to the disability branch and re-register once I'd received approval.

What went wrong:
-I was NOT told that requesting disability accommodation (yes, even something as simple as extended time) had to be done by snail-mail or that it would take a minimum of 6 weeks.

-I was NOT told that a full refund of the original cancellation depended on approval of accommodations.

-I was NOT told that the number which I was given on the website actually doesn't work anymore, and that I'd have to make my way to the correct disabilities department through a chain of transfers.

-I was, lastly, NOT told that the departments involved in ETS registration and accommodations don't actually know how to help you with what you are told they can help you with. They are impersonal, they do not try to figure out how best to help you and it WILL result in your being screwed over if you are not in the condition to advocate for yourself. [note: yes, some of these are obvious, but not to someone distressed and high on painkillers]

Words of wisdom:
-If you have ANY suspicion that your remission may see its end by your desired test date, apply for medical accommodation with a two-month cushion. Do not wait until the last minute. Because I am applying to schools this year, I can't take advantage of this option (even though I had an unexpected medical emergency).

-DO NOT register for a standard test until you have received your letter of approval from ETS Disabilities.

-the computer adaptive test (CAT) IS available to those who need accommodations, even though ETS makes it seem like you will be restricted to the paper form offered only twice a year.

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