What You Must Bring With You on Test Day for the ACT or SAT | Winward Academy


What to do the day before the ACT or SAT

Make sure that the day before your test, you have everything below set aside, organized, and ready to go.

You don’t want to spend Saturday morning frantically searching for your registration ticket.

Below is the list of the 12 items you want to SET ASIDE in advance
  1. Photo ID: The proctor will confirm your identification.
  2. Registration ticket: Log into and print from either the ACT or SAT website.
  3. Directions to your site: I recommend a dry run to the actual location a few days before so that you know exactly where you’re going and how long it will take to get there. Getting lost the morning of a test would be incredibly stressful, and there’s zero tolerance for late students. If you’re late, you can’t take the exam.
  4. Three or more #2 pencils: You’re not allowed to use a mechanical pencil.
  5. Pencil sharpener: It’s an easy thing to have in your pencil bag just in case there isn’t one in the room.
  6. Eraser: An eraser on the back of a pencil can suffice, but many students bring a large, separate eraser.
  7. Calculator: Graphing calculators are preferred but you have to make sure you know how to use them. If you’re not used to a graphing calculator, stick with a regular calculator. Even little things like using parentheses or not can change the output. If you’re unsure of how to take advantage of the helpful features of a graphing calculator, check out the free calculator lessons on the Winward Academy website.
  8. A watch without an audible alarm: If you have anything that beeps during the test, your test is automatically canceled and taken away from you! The one thing you might bring is a silent watch. The rooms are supposed to have clocks but you never know if the clock is going to work, or if it’s going to be in an inconvenient location.
  9. Tissues: Just have them! You never know when you might sneeze or have a sniffle.
  10. Snacks: Use your breaks to refuel. Snacks that you might want to bring include things like protein bars, trail mix, fruit, vegetables, or a half a sandwich. Prioritize lean protein and fiber and avoid too much sugar or starch. Also, be careful not to overeat. You don’t want to be uncomfortable or have a stomach ache when you start the second half of your test.
  11. Bottled water: It’s good to be hydrated but, just like with food, don’t overdo it. Being uncomfortable and having to use the restroom in the middle of a section isn’t good. Make sure you use the restroom at the testing site before the exam begins and during the break.
  12. Comfortable outfit: You can’t always control the temperature, but you can be prepared. Think comfort and layers.

Do you feel more comfortable knowing how to get organized the day before the exam? Arm yourself with more knowledge of what to do months before, the night before, the morning of, and during and after the ACT or SAT.


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About Winward Academy – Winward Academy is one of the world’s leading innovators in the online education space, providing web-based academic support that enhances students’ knowledge, confidence, and competitiveness in middle and high school academics and in college applications. We help thousands of students every year by providing personalized, comprehensive ACT and SAT test preparation and extensive math curriculum support. The Winward Academy learning platform honors over 40 years of education and cognitive psychology research, incorporating proven techniques that promote effective learning.

Winward Academy’s unmatched reputation is wholly attributable to our students’ exceptional success and to the trust earned among students, parents, and schools around the world.

Jennifer Winward, Ph.D.

Dr. Jennifer Winward is a renowned college instructor, a distinguished 20-year veteran of high school tutoring, and the founder and lead instructor of Winward Academy. She earned her Ph.D. specializing in adolescent brain development and adolescent learning. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude with highest distinction honors. Dr. Winward has been widely recognized for her academic success, published research, and philanthropic efforts with awards from the President of the United States, the California State Assembly, Rotary International, the Marin County School Administrator Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Science Foundation.

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