Frequently asked questions: What should I bring with me to the SAT and ACT?

Students often ask what they should bring with them to the testing center on SAT or ACT test day.  With the tests coming up on June 2 and 9, 2012, this is a very relevant question.  You can find a complete list on the College Board’s website, but I’ll summarize it here.  You should bring:

  • Admission ticket – print this out the night before.  You need this to get into the test!
  • Photo ID – your driver’s license or school ID works.  You also need this to get into the test.  Your receipt from Taco Bell does not count as an ID (this actually happened at my student’s test center, and the person in question didn’t get in).
  • Calculator – either graphing or scientific calculators are allowed, but no calculators with full keyboards.  Make sure you replace the batteries a few days before the test!
  • Number 2 pencils – no mechanical pencils allowed.  Bring several of them so you have backups.
  • Extra eraser – to make it easier to erase cleanly on the scantron.
  • Watch – this should be an old-fashioned wristwatch that doesn’t beep.  Helpful to keep track of the time you have left on each section.
  • Water
  • High-energy snacks for the break – think granola bars, bananas.  Anything that will keep you going for four hours!
  • Driving directions to the testing center, or a GPS – if you’re from Palo Alto but you’re taking the SAT at Bellarmine, you might not know how to get there.  Be prepared!

It’s also important to know what NOT to bring to the SAT and ACT:

  • Your phone, iPod, any other electronic gadgets – you won’t be allowed to use them if you have time left over on a section, and you don’t want to risk them getting confiscated if you forget to turn off the sound.  Leave them in the car!
  • Highlighters and pens – you can only use pencils.
  • Notes of any kind – this should be obvious!
  • Scratch paper – the proctor will provide this for you.

Good luck from AJ Tutoring!

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