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Exam Day Checklist – What To Bring On The Big Day

There are very specific things that will make your life easier if you have them on exam day. There are also specific items that you should not bring. If you have a checklist, you can be sure that you have everything you need. Eliminate stress on exam day by making sure everything on your checklist is ready a few days for the exam. The ACT and SAT vary slightly on what they allow on the exam, but in general, both exams require the same items and have similar restrictions. Use this checklist to make sure you have everything you need and nothing you shouldn’t bring.



  • Admittance Ticket

You will need to upload a photo of yourself following very specific guidelines. Once this is complete, you must print your admittance ticket and bring it with you to the exam facility. The proctor will not let you enter the exam room without it.

  • Photo ID

In addition to the admittance ticket, you will need to have a valid photo id that states your name exactly as it is written on the admittance ticket. Be sure to have this ready ahead of time. If you don’t have a valid id, you can get a form from the ACT or CollegeBoard that your school can complete for you. This will take time, so plan ahead if you need to use this option.

  • Approved Calculator

Only certain types of calculators are allowed on specific portions of the exam. Be sure to check out the lists of approved calculators for the SAT and ACT so that you are confident your calculator complies. 

  • Pencils

It is obvious that you need #2 pencils, but on exam day this item could be easy to overlook. Pack a few the night before.

  • Snacks and Water

You can’t eat during the test, but there will be breaks. Bring a hearty, protein packed snack to keep your energy up. Trail mix or cheese sticks should stave off hunger and help you concentrate.

  • No Devices That Make Noise

You can’t have a phone or a watch that makes noise. If you do bring your phone, make sure it is in your bag on airplane mode with the sound off. Some proctors may even collect phones before the exam. You could also be removed from the exam if any of your devices make noise. It might be best to leave your phone at home so that you don’t have to worry about it.  

If you are uncertain about any items, check the College Board’s checklist for the SAT or the ACT’s checklist. These lists are explicit about what is required and what isn’t allowed. 



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