ACT Checklist for Test Day

Written by: Kristine Thorndyke

The ACT Checklist

You studied for the ACT, stayed awake during prep classes, fell asleep with your ACT prep book on your chest and the day has finally arrived where it will all be worth it – it’s time to take the ACT! Don’t forget that there are some things you need to bring to the ACT in order to be admitted to the testing center as well as some items that you should have with you so that you can do your best! We’ve got a foolproof ACT checklist that will get you into the ACT and getting through the test sweat-free.

To stay organized as you prep for your ACT, shop these affordable student planners.

1. Photo ID

You must bring a form of ID that is acceptable for entry and makes the first spot on our ACT checklist for test day. These kinds of IDs include your current official school ID, a driver’s license, or your passport.

2. Admission Ticket

You must bring a physical, printed copy of your ACT admission ticket. Similar to the Photo ID, if you fail to bring this item from the ACT checklist, you will not be admitted into the testing center! Unacceptable copies of your admission ticket include images on your cell phone of the ticket. You can print your ticket on the ACT Student Website.

3. #2 Pencils

The only acceptable writing utensil for filling out the ACT answer sheet is a #2 pencil. Highlighters, mechanical pencils, or pens are not allowed on the test, even on the optional written portion (they told you that in your ACT practice class, right?).

4. Eraser

If you are like every other student, you will need to erase some answers at some point on your ACT. Even if you have an eraser on your pencil, we added this to our ACT checklist with the purpose of being a back-up in case your pencil’s eraser breaks or does not work effectively on test day.

5. Calculator

The ACT has a pretty strict calculator policy that only allows 4-function, scientific, or graphing calculators. These calculators are only allowed on the Math portion. The list of prohibited calculators for the ACT checklist include:

  • Texas Instruments model numbers that begin with TI-89 or TI-92 as well as TI-Nspire CAS
  • Hewlett-Packard: HP Prime, HP 48GII, and all models that begin with HP 40G, HP 49G, HP50G
  • Casio: fx-CP400, ClassPad 300 of 330, Algebra fx 2.0, all model numbers that begin with CFX-9970G

Have a look at the best ACT calculators recommended by TPN.

6. Healthy Snacks

Testing for 3-4 hours is not easy, and utilizing healthy snacks to help provide you with the energy needed for the ACT is key. Drinks should be low in sugar, as these can cause a crash when you come down off the sugar high. Good ol’ fashioned water is the best way to stay hydrated during the test. If you usually drink coffee or tea and know how your body reacts to these stimulants, then consider bringing these beverages with you on test day. One of the worst drinks you can bring are sodas or sugary fruit drinks.

Food-wise, good options are fruits as well as protein-filled snacks. An apple or banana with peanut butter, mixed dried fruit and nut mix, or cheese cubes with crackers would make great ACT snacks that will keep your energy sustained.

7. Watch

A watch is absolutely necessary to keep track of your timing on the test and monitor your speed of answering questions. Classrooms where you will take the ACT are not guaranteed to have a clock, so your best safeguard for this situation is to wear your own watch to keep time.

Did we miss anything in our ACT checklist? Let us know by commenting below!