March 06, 2019

What Do I Bring to My SAT or ACT Test?

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You have worked hard to prepare for the ACT or SAT, and it is finally test day. However, you need to know what to bring to the testing center. The last thing you want is to have all your hard work be for nothing because you forgot an important item or brought a prohibited item and were dismissed.

Here is a closer look at what you need to bring, so you can take your test and show off everything you have learned.

What You Must Bring to Your SAT Test

If you are heading out to take the SAT, here is what the College Board website says you will need:

Your Admission Ticket

The most important item to bring to the testing center is your Admission Ticket. You can print this from your College Board account.

You will not be allowed into the testing center without your ticket.

Photo ID

The College Board is selective about which photo ID you can use. You must bring the original document and it must show your full, legal name just as it appears on your Admission Ticket. Some examples of acceptable IDs include:

  1. Any government-issued photo ID
  2. A school-issued ID card from your current school
  3. Talent Search Identification Forms (for students in the eighth grade or below)
  4. SAT Student ID Form

If you are using the Talent Search Identification Form, you must have your original signature and a parent’s signature. If you are using an SAT Student ID Form, your school must prepare it beforehand. If you are homeschooled, the form must be signed by a notary.

Writing Utensils

For the SAT, you are allowed to bring two sharpened No. 2 pencils with erasers, and nothing else. You can bring extras that must be stored away from your desk because during the testing periods you may only have two.

A Calculator

Bring a calculator that you have used before so you will know how to use its functions. The College Board maintains a list of acceptable calculators you can use during the test. Make sure it has fresh batteries.

What You Could Bring to Your SAT Test

There are other items you can bring; however, they are not required to take the test. Consider if you would like to bring:

  • A watch without an alarm
  • Extra batteries and an extra calculator (to be stored away from your desk)
  • A bag or backpack
  • A drink and/or snack

What You Must Bring to the ACT Test

If you are heading out to take the ACT, here what the official ACT website says you will need: 

Your Test Ticket

You will receive a ticket in the mail that you will need to bring with you. If you have lost it, print another from your ACT account online.

Photo ID

The ACT accepts the following forms of ID:

  • Any valid government issued ID, including passport, driver’s license, ID card, or military ID.
  • A school-issued ID card from your current school, which must be in a hard-plastic card format
  • ACT Student Identification Form (if no photo ID is available), which must be completed by a school official or notary public
  • ACT Talent Search Student Identification Form

Your ID must be in good shape and must have your name matching the first and last name on your ticket.

Writing Utensils

You will need soft lead Number 2 pencils that are not mechanical. Make sure your pencils are sharpened and have good erasers. Bring extras in case one breaks.

A Watch

Your watch cannot have an alarm, but you can use it to pace yourself during the test. Make sure it does not beep, because any sounds from your watch will result in your dismissal from the classroom.

A Calculator

Bring a calculator that is listed as a on the ACT test site; you can use it during the mathematics portion. Check if your calculator is permitted beforehand, because if it violates the rules, you will not be allowed to use one at all.

Snacks

You will get some breaks during when you can eat your snack, so consider packing something.

What Not to Bring to the SAT or ACT Test

You cannot bring anything that can record, transmit, receive, or playback data, including text. This includes smartwatches. In addition, you cannot bring any personal computing devices, including Google Glass.

Notebooks, audio players, audio recorders, cameras, texting devices, and timers are not allowed. You should not bring a compass, protractor, notebook, highlighter, pens, colored pencils, or papers of any kind. Any paper you may need will be provided at the test site. Dictionaries and books are not allowed.  

The only food or drink you can bring is a snack for your break.

Special Considerations for Medical Conditions for Both Tests

Students with medical conditions who require snacks during the test must ask for testing accommodations to bring a snack with them. Students who require an EpiPen or similar device are allowed to bring one. However, the auto-injector must be placed in a clear bag and stored under the student’s desk while the test is underway.

Now that you know what to bring, you are ready to start preparing. Pack your bag with these essentials the night before, get a good night's sleep, and you will be ready for test day.

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