Once you’ve registered and studied up for the ACT, you’ll want to know what to bring to the ACT.
This standardized college entrance exam may not be the grandest of adventures, but it sure does take endurance and you’ll want to be armed for the quest ahead to achieve your highest score possible.
After all that practice and prep, don’t let something silly and avoidable be the reason you aren’t allowed to test or get your test scored.
You deserve better than that.
This article will help you avoid being caught off-guard by the little things you’ll need come ACT Test Day and what should be left at home.
Hint: pack the positivity but say goodbye to the Apple watch.
Together we’ll unpack (pun intended):
What to bring
What to wear
What not to have
What not to do
Make like a courageous knight facing whatever the sneaky test-makers have prepared with a trusty steed (aka, an admissions ticket to carry you in the door), broadsword & shield (No. 2 pencils with good erasers), armor (layering against room temperatures) and a few other necessary staples.
The Friday night before your Saturday test, make sure you go to bed early so you get enough sleep and are able to get up early enough for a good breakfast.
But before you fall asleep, set out what you’ll be bringing in the morning so you can grab it quickly and head out the door with confidence on Saturday.
The List Of What To Bring To The ACT:
Your personal ACT admission ticket (you'll need to print it in advance)
Official photo ID
Three (3) Pre-sharpened, No. 2 pencils
Bottle of water
- Something you like, something that will give you a boost. Keep in mind that dark chocolate has spectacular health benefits, and not just if you’re Harry Potter… Have a skeptical parent you need to convince? Look it up on WebMD or share this article from Healthline on the 7 proven health benefits of chocolate!
- Don’t only bring a sugary snack. You definitely don’t want your sugar level to drop before the test is up. Approach the ACT like the marathon that it is and nosh on veggies or protein-heavy treats too.
7. Calculator (see below for more details on what calculators are allowed on the ACT)
8. Extra set of batteries for your calculator so you aren’t left in the lurch with a machine that runs out of juice
9. Watch (see guidelines below)
What Calculators Are Allowed On The ACT?
*** BONUS TIP: Also be sure to practice in advance with the calculator you want to use so you’re not wasting valuable testing time on the day of, trying to figure out how to use it or where the major buttons are.
What To Wear To The ACT
As the song says, you’re never fully dressed without a smile.
So even if you’re nervous, try donning one to remind yourself to relax and do your best.
Make peace with where you are in your process, knowing that you’ve done your best in getting here.
Now it’s time to get ready to go and don’t forget:
A watch - If you will feel more comfortable having a way to track your progress and how much time is left, that is fine. But be aware that there are strict parameters around watches.
It must be taken off and placed face-up on the desk.
It cannot have an alarm that goes off.
NO SMARTWATCHES or fitness bands (nothing that has communication abilities).
If you forget to put your watch on your desk where they can see it or if the alarm goes off, you will be asked to leave and your test will not be valid.
Layers - to add or remove as necessary depending on if the room is too hot or too cold. Don’t rely solely on the outside temperature to predict what the testing site might feel like; on a hot day the room could be freezing from over-air conditioning, on a cold day, it could be overheated.
What Not To Bring To The ACT
First and foremost, a negative attitude won’t get you anywhere in life or in the ACT!
Take a deep breath.
Believe in yourself.
Leave any insecurities at home, along with:
Highlighters, pens, mechanical pencils, or any non-No. 2 pencils, crayons, markers, etc.
Scratch paper (but you can use your test booklet as scratch paper!).
Phones or smartwatches or tablets (anything with the internet).
IMPORTANT NOTE: even during breaks electronic devices aren’t allowed.
If a proctor sees any electronic devices, they can be taken away and they will certainly invalidate your test.
What Not To Do At The ACT
You can’t expect any potential colleges to take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously.
This isn’t the time or the place to goof off.
But that's not to say that you should give yourself too much pressure either.
If you haven't done a ton of studying, don't stress yourself out by trying to cram the night before.
Better to get a good night's sleep and use your best logic and guessing abilities to reflect where you are in your education and college admissions process.
You got this.
Just remember a couple of things…
Don’t freak yourself out
Don’t be late. (You won’t be let in.)
Don’t use the calculator for any section that isn’t the math portion.
Don’t keep writing after the time is called. (They are very very very strict on this.)
More About The ACT
Do what you need to be physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for these intense standardized college entrance exams.
Need help knowing what or how to study for the ACT?
If you want to get your highest possible score, we can get you there.
Even in as few as four hours.
And if you have any questions, don’t wait until the last minute to ask the experts. Contact us now and let us help!
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