ACT Test Day-Is Calculator Permitted? Time Management and What to Bring?

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Calculator Policy

The ACT calculator policy is designed to ensure fairness for all examinees, avoid disturbances in the testing room, and protect the security of the test materials.

Bring a permitted calculator to be used on the mathematics test only.

If your calculator has characters one inch high or larger, or a raised display, testing staff may seat you where no others can see the display.

It is your responsibility to know whether your calculator is permitted.

What Do I Need to Bring for the ACT on Test Day?

On the day you՚ll take the ACT, remember to bring everything you՚ll need:

  • Photo ID
  • Your registration ticket
  • An approved calculator
  • Several pencils with good erasers

Also, remember not to bring anything that won՚t be allowed into the test room:

  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Any electronic devices


Your Ticket

Bring a printed copy of your ticket to the test center. If you have lost your ticket, you can print another through your MyACT account. . If you do not bring your ticket on test day, your scores may be delayed.

Photo Identification

Bring acceptable photo identification. You will not be admitted to test if your ID does not meet ACT requirements.


ACT is requiring all examinees to bring and wear masks or other cloth face covering (both referred to as “masks” ) to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. You will be prohibited from entering the testing facility without a mask. See FAQs for more information.

Number 2 Pencil

Bring sharpened, No. 2 pencils with good erasers (no mechanical pencils or ink pens) . Do not bring any other writing instruments; you will not be allowed to use them.


You may bring a watch to pace yourself, but do not bring a watch with an alarm. During testing your watch must be removed and placed on your desk face up. If your alarm sounds during testing, you՚ll be dismissed and your answers will not be scored.


Bring a permitted calculator to be used on the mathematics test only. You are not required to use a calculator at all, but if you do, it is your responsibility to know whether your calculator is permitted.


To eat outside the test center on break.

Don՚t Bring Any of These; You Can՚t Access Them

  • Textbooks, foreign language or other dictionaries, scratch paper, notes, or other aids
  • Highlighter pens, colored pens or pencils, or correction fluid/tape
  • Any electronic device, other than a permitted calculator
  • Reading material
  • Tobacco in any form

Prohibited Devices

The prohibited use of devices is in effect from the time you are admitted to your testing room until you are dismissed at the end of the test, including break times. Specifically:

You may not handle or access a cell phone or electronic device at any time in the testing room or during break times. This includes smart watches, fitness bands, and any other devices with recording, internet, or communication capabilities.

All devices, including cell phones and wearable devices, must be turned off and placed out of sight.

If you access your device or if your device activates while in the testing room or during break times, you will be dismissed, your test will not be scored, and your phone or device may be taken away.

Time Management Tips for the ACT

  • Start at the beginning, but don՚t be afraid to skip questions. Move on from questions that are too difficult or will take too long.
  • Remember that each question is worth the same amount. Prioritize questions you can answer, so that there is time to return to unanswered ones.
  • Use formulas and let your calculator work for you in the math section. Practice so that you know what you need to work out by hand and what your calculator can help you with.
  • Set and follow an answering pace. Stay on track by checking the time every 10 questions or so. For example, the English section gives 45 minutes to answer 75 questions, which works out to around 17 questions every 10 minutes.
  • Leave some time to revisit skipped questions. Remember those questions you skipped on your first pass? Allocate time to go back and answer them.