ACT/SAT Checklist

Posted by Gerrin T. Alexander

August 01, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Test Day Test Prep

What Do I Need?

The keyword here is need. Think about all the supplies you need to enter your testing location, to do each section of the test, fill out the answer sheet, etc. Don’t worry about the things you want to bring just yet, we’ll get there in a second. Let’s begin!

Admission Ticket

Every time you register to take the test online, you should receive an email with your admission ticket attached. If not, contact them immediately! This ticket has all the important information needed to enter your testing location. The ticket shows your name, test center, and the test you’re taking; so, print this out ahead of time and make sure that this is in your bag! Without the admission ticket, you will not be allowed in. ## Photo ID An acceptable photo ID is not the selfie you took yesterday on baecation with your boo thang. Your driver’s license, state ID, passport, school-issued ID, or typically anything else that is government-issued are all examples of acceptable photo ID. At your testing location, your test proctor will use your photo ID to check your admission ticket to see if the names match. Therefore, similar to your admission ticket, you will not be allowed in without an acceptable photo ID. ## No. 2 Pencils The only writing utensil you can use to complete the test is a No. 2 pencil, so don’t even bother bringing in pens or other types of pencils. Make sure all of your pencils are freshly sharpened and bring at least four pencils (one for each subject test) or five if you’re doing the exam with the writing. This will also help you avoid constantly getting up and waste time sharpening your pencil.

Side note: Also, make sure you have good erasers just in case you make mistakes. All errors have to be completely erased; otherwise, you risk affecting your score.


A calculator is only allowed on one of the math sections of the SAT and the math section of the ACT. If you’re enrolled in a Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus, or AP Statistics course, then you probably already have a TI-84 Plus calculator which is suitable for the test. I highly recommend that calculator along with any other scientific calculator or graphing calculator.

What Else Can I Bring?

The following items are nice to have but aren’t required for you to bring to the testing center come test day.


You have a couple options here. You can bring your backpack, a purse or crossover bag, or a drawstring. All are suitable bag options which will make it possible for you to keep everything you have organized and in one place. I would go for a drawstring simply because it is not too big and not too small. ## Snacks As you may know by now, there will be several 5-minute breaks throughout the tests during which you can chow down on some snacks. You cannot eat during the actual exam. That being said, use these breaks to your advantage and eat some snacks to sustain you and drink some water for optimal focus and concentration. Click here to read my other article that will help you determine snack foods to eat for memory-boosting powers.

Do NOT Bring…

  • ANY electronic devices
  • Dictionaries
  • Cheat sheets/notebooks

For having any of the items above in your possession, you risk being immediately dismissed from the exam and your scores will automatically be cancelled. No refunds. Now, I know you’re thinking “How am I supposed to contact family to let them know I’ve finished?” or something else along those lines. Well, I’m not going to lie to you, I brought my cell phone. Ooooo I’m such a rebel, right? No, actually I’m pretty lame on the highest of keys. Anyways, I can’t stop you from bringing your cell phone, but just know that it should remain on silent, rather, turned off during the test and left inside your coat pocket or bag. The last thing we want is for you to be suspected of cheating, or even worse, caught doing so. There aren’t too many thieves roaming the halls of high schools stealing cell phones on exam day, so no need to worry. Your phone will do just fine without you for a couple of hours, trust me.

If you have a disability, make sure your testing accommodations have been approved ahead of time by the College Board’s (or ACT’s) services for students with disabilities.

Now you have all the items you need to bring with you on test day and you know what not to bring. But, how should you prepare? The answer’s simple: Prepmedians! Get started today! :)

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Posted by Gerrin T. Alexander

Gerrin scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT in high school and is currently studying Economics and Public Policy at The University of Chicago. Fun fact: She has done the #wopchallenge on nearly every corner of the campus, including the quad.