What to Pack for Test Day

You finally made it to test day! On this big day, you should be completely focused on the test in front of you. To avoid last minute stress, take a moment to pack the night before. Here are a few things you’ll need to bring with you:

  • Bag: Drawstring bags, small totes,  purses, or even large ziplocks all work. It just needs to be large enough to hold all your belongings but small enough that you can tuck it under your chair. 
  • Paper Admissions Ticket You can’t take the test unless you show your  paper ticket to the proctor. You should’ve received instructions on how to print this after registering for the test. For those that complete paper forms, you’ll receive them in the mail. Check out the links below for ACT/SAT admission ticket info before test day if you have questions. 
  • ID  Most tests ask for a current photo ID, such as a government issued ID, permit/driver’s license, or school ID. If you don’t have any of those, or have questions on whether your ID is acceptable, check out the links below. 
  • Calculator Most tests have rules on which calculators you can use, so double check the policy for your particular test (links for ACT and SAT below). Also, check your battery! One of the worst feelings is getting half way through a math section and your calculator dies. Charge or replace the batteries the night before. If you have a spare, bring that too.
  • Pencils Can’t take a test if you can’t mark the answers. Bring at least two sharpened #2 pencils. Mechanical pencils typically work, but it’s a good idea to stick to wooden pencils if you can. Also bring a good quality eraser.
  • Water and snack For longer tests, like the ACT and SAT, you’ll have at least one or two breaks. Use that time to sip on some water (Not too much!) and eat a small snack. Healthy fats and protein are great brain foods. Some good options are: nuts, nutrition bars, carrot sticks w/ nut butter or hummus, or even jerky.
  •  Analog or sports watch Most testing centers will have a timer, but it doesn’t hurt to have your own. However, no smartwatches (Apple watch, Fitbit, etc)! Also turn any alarms OFF. An alarm going off can disqualify your exam. If in doubt, don’t bring it.


By packing these few items in your bag before test day, you’re preparing yourself for success!


ACT and SAT Info on Test day, admission ticket, and calculator policies



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