What should a student bring on test day?

Test prep is all well and good, but sometimes students get so caught up in making sure they know the test material that they forget to bring basic survival gear! Don’t walk in on test day without any of these:

  • Your admission ticket. Go to your account on the SAT or ACT website and there will be a drop-down menu where you can print your ticket. And yes, it does have to be printed!
  • Photo ID. This can be a driver’s license, learner’s permit, official school ID, U.S. passport, etc., as long as it’s printed in English, has a clear photo of you and your full legal name, and isn’t expired.
  • #2 pencils (with erasers). And no, mechanical pencils aren’t allowed. Classic wood only, which means a sharpener is also a good idea.
  • A calculator. There are always new models of calculators coming out, so be sure to check the guidelines for permitted models on the official SAT/ACT websites. Also, double-check that its battery is charged and ready to go!
  • A wristwatch. You don’t want to have to crane your neck every few minutes to check the clock on the wall. Analog or digital are both fine, but if your watch is digital, make sure there are no alarms set. If it goes off during the test, you’ll get kicked out and your scores will be canceled.
  • Snacks and water. Take advantage of the breaks by hydrating and refueling! Bring healthy snacks like granola or nuts, which are filled with protein and will feed your brain. And steer clear of coffee or soda–good old water should be all you need.
  • A face mask. The testing venue may or may not require face coverings, but even if COVID-19 isn’t hitting your community too hard, you’ll be sharing a crowded classroom with a bunch of strangers for three hours. Better safe than sick.

Other than that, all you’ll need is your calm, clear, brilliant mind on test day! Bring all of this and you’ll have what you need to nail it.


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Annotated Test Day Checklist

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