What To Bring On ACT® Test Day: A Complete Checklist

Students on ACT test day in a classroom
Our ACT® test day checklist covers everything you need to bring for a successful test day. From photo ID to snacks, we've got you covered!
Students on ACT test day in a classroom
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Don’t want to leave anything to chance on your ACT® Test day? Check out our ACT Test day checklist of essentials before you hit the road. And while you’re at it, make sure to read our list of no-nos because you definitely do not want to get caught with any prohibited items at the test center. Oh, and about that pesky ID requirement?! Don’t sweat it—our guide has got you covered with everything you need to know.

Items to Bring on ACT Test Day

Keep this ACT test day checklist handy to prep for your big day!

Admission ticket

Your admission ticket includes reporting location and other vital details. Remember to bring your printed admission ticket to the test center.

Acceptable photo ID

Carry an acceptable photo ID to enter the test center.


Bring an analog or digital watch to keep track of time. Bring a watch to pace yourself, but no smartwatch or alarm watch. An onscreen timer helps pace the computer-based ACT test. Smartwatches are not allowed in the test center.

Approved calculator

Bring an ACT-approved calculator for the Math Test.


Carry some snacks to eat during break time. Keep them handy, but do not consume them during the test.

Prohibited Items for ACT Test Day

Now that you know what to bring on ACT test day, let’s run you through the items that you must not bring to the testing room:

  • Reading materials like textbooks, notes, dictionaries
  • Scratch paper or other aids
  • Highlighter or colored pens or pencils, or correction tape/fluid
  • Any kind of electronic device (except a permitted calculator)
  • Tobacco

What should I do if I forget to bring something important to the ACT test center?

If you forget an important item for the ACT test, it’s important to stay calm and assess your options. You may still be allowed to take the test or reschedule for another date. Speak with the test center supervisor and explain your situation. They may provide a solution or permit you to take the test with the materials you have.

ID Requirements

Per the ACT testing policy, carrying a valid photo ID on test day is mandatory, along with the ACT admission ticket. Any ID you carry must be in the form of a hard plastic card. Electronic or paper IDs are not acceptable at the test center.

Acceptable IDs

Make sure your ID fulfills the following requirements to be deemed acceptable for admission into the ACT test center:

  • Original, current, valid ID with a clear photo issued by a city/state/federal government agency or your school
  • Your first and last name on the ID should match the ACT testing roster

Unacceptable IDs

You will not be allowed to test if you present any of the IDs listed below:

  • Birth certificate
  • Fishing or hunting license
  • ID issued by an employer
  • Organization membership card
  • ID letter that is not an official ACT identification form
  • Temporary/replacement/ learner’s driving permit if it doesn’t include a photo
  • Passport or other photo ID with an old picture
  • Social Security card
  • Transcript with/without photo
  • Report card
  • Diploma certificate

You will not be allowed to test if you carry photocopies or reproductions of IDs (even if the IDs are listed acceptable by the ACT). In addition, there are a few more IDs deemed unacceptable by the ACT:

  • ChildFind ID card
  • Printed, stamped, or photocopied signatures
  • Photo ID of parents
  • Police report of a stolen wallet or purse
  • Credit, charge, bank, or check cashing cards (even with photo)
  • Family portrait or graduation picture (even if the name is imprinted on the photo)
  • Personal reference by anyone
  • Photo with your name embossed or printed on it
  • Photos issued by a business
  • Published photo, including yearbook or newspaper
  • Telephone calls to counselors, teachers, or school officials
  • Traffic ticket, even with a physical description and signature
  • Web page with photo

What if you don’t have an acceptable ID?

Worry not! If you do not have any of the IDs mentioned above or you’re homeschooled, you can fill out the ACT Student Identification Form with a photo in PDF and get it attested by a school official or notary public (neither may be a relative). Carry this filled and certified document as proof of your identification on ACT test day.

If you’re testing outside of the U.S., its territories, or Puerto Rico, check out our guide for international students who are taking the ACT.

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