What to Bring to the ACT: ACT Day Checklist

act day checklist graphic

When it comes to ACT test day, you don’t want to forget or bring anything that would bar your entry to the test. Below, find a checklist of what to bring to the ACT test and what NOT to bring on test day. 

Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable version of this checklist!

ACT Test Day Checklist:

Make sure to bring these things to the ACT test:

Your printed ticket

Bring a printed copy of your ticket to the test center. You can print another ticket through your ACT account if you have lost it. 

A Photo ID 

Bring a photo identification as specified by the ACT:

  • Must be an original, current (valid) ID issued by a city/state/federal government agency or your school.
  • School ID must be in hard plastic card format. Paper or electronic formats are NOT acceptable.
  • Your first and last names must match the ticket. The photo must be clearly recognizable as you.

Via act.org

If you don’t have a current, official photo ID, you must use the ACT Student Identification Form (PDF) with a photo. It has to be completed by a school official or notary public that is not related to you. 

You will not be admitted if your ID does not meet ACT standards!

2-3 Number 2 Pencils

Bring 2-3 sharpened Number 2 pencils. These are the standard yellow pencils you’ll find in any classroom, but check for a little “2” on the wood near the eraser to confirm that your pencil is a Number 2. Make sure your pencils have good erasers, too! Mechanical pencils, ink pens, highlighters, or any other writing instruments are not allowed. 

A Watch

If you’d like to pace yourself, bring a watch without an alarm (including all smartwatches/fitness bands). If the alarm sounds during the test, you’d be removed from the testing room and your test will not be scored. If you don’t have a watch, that’s ok! The test proctor will announce when you have five minutes remaining for each section of the test. 

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An ACT-Approved Calculator (and extra batteries!)

Bring an ACT-approved calculator for the math test. You are not required to use a calculator; all of the math questions can be completed without one. However, it can be a helpful tool to speed up some questions or to check your work. View the official ACT calculator policy here.

Be sure to test your calculator before test day so you know it works, is not low on battery, or having any technical issues. If you’re concerned about it dying mid-test, consider bringing some batteries for peace of mind. 

Snacks!

Bring a healthy snack to eat outside the testing room during the 10-15 minute break. When you pick a snack, choose a food that will keep you full and not cause a sugar crash! Some examples of healthy snacks are nuts, which contain healthy fats and proteins; granola bars with less than 10g of sugar, a good source of fiber and healthy carbs; or a fiber-filled fruit like an apple. A boiled egg is also a healthy snack but if you bring one, you run the risk of making a few scent-sensitive enemies.

Mints also make many people feel more alert, so consider packing your favorite mints or mint gum.

A Jacket or Sweater

Testing rooms are notoriously chilly and made even more so since you’ll be sitting for a few hours. Dress in layers so you are prepared for any temperature. You don’t want anything distracting you from the task at hand!

act test day checklist

Things NOT to Bring:

Textbooks, foreign language or other dictionaries, scratch paper, notes, or other aids

You will not be able to use any outside resources on this test. Any attempt to do so will be cheating and cause your dismissal from the test, and your test will not be scored. 

Highlighter pens, mechanical pencils, pens, colored pens or pencils, or correction fluid/tape

Wooden Number 2 pencils are your writing utensil of choice for the ACT.

Any electronic device, other than a permitted calculator

We recommend leaving your cell phone with your parent or guardian if you can. If you do need to bring your cellphone to the testing center, turn it completely OFF and ask the proctor what to do with it. Most of the time, the proctor will have a system for collecting cell phones, but you want to make sure it is not on your person and does not make any noise during the test. If this happens, you will be dismissed and your test will not be scored.  

This rule also applies to smartwatches, fitness bands, and any other devices with recording, internet, or communication capabilities.

Reading material

You probably won’t have time for it, anyways. 

Tobacco in any form

This includes vapes. And really you shouldn’t have any tobacco products, right?

More Resources

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