Test Day FAQ

What happens on the day of the ACT test?

  • Arrive at the testing center by 8:00 a.m.
  • Your ID and admission ticket will be checked by staff, who will then send you to a seat and provide testing materials.
  • Testing normally begins when everyone is checked in at 8:00 a.m.
  • A brief break is scheduled after the first two tests.
  • If you fail to complete all tests, inform the proctor whether you want your test scored. Otherwise it will be scored.

What should I bring to the test center?

  • Your admission ticket.
  • Acceptable identification. This does not include your admissions ticket, for more information read below.
  • A few soft lead No. 2 pencils with erasers
  • A watch in order to pace yourself
  • A permitted calculator for the Mathematics Test, although a calculator is not necessary.

What constitutes acceptable identification?

  • Up-to-date official photo ID, e.g. issued by a school, employer, or the government on which both your name and photo appear.
  • Recently published individual photo: Recognizable individual photograph of you in a recent (within the last two years) publication with your first and last name in the caption
  • School letter or transcript: Letters must meet all of the following requirements:
    • The letter must be on school letterhead and include your name and physical description including age, gender, height, race, and hair and eye color, or an attached recognizable recent photo with school seal or official's signature across a portion of the photo.
    • Form letters reproduced on school letterhead and then individually completed and signed in ink
    • Transcripts may be used only if they include a recent photo as described above and are signed as described below.
    • A notarized statement with photo

What calculators are not permitted?

  • Calculators with built-in algebra systems
  • Handheld, tablet, or laptop computers, which includes PDAs
  • Any electronic writing pads or pen-input devices
  • Calculators built into cell phones or other communicating devices
  • Calculators with keypads QWERTY formats

What if I do not have my admission ticket?

Without the information included on your admission ticket, which must be entered into your exam, your scores may be delayed up to 8 weeks.

Can I change my test center, test date, or add/drop the Writing Test on test day?

Yes, provided you are registered for the current administration of the ACT and there are sufficient materials available.

What if I've missed the late registration deadline but need to take the test that day?

In the United States, U.S. territories, Puerto Rico, or Canada you can try to test standby. In all other locations standby testing is unavailable.

How do I test standby?

  • Get a registration packet from your councilor.
  • To find out which test centers are currently scheduled to test on your desired test date consult ACT.
  • Arrive at the center before 8:00 a.m.
  • Bring your completed registration folder, sealed in the registration envelope with your name and address clearly printed in the return address box (do not enclose cash) with the basic fee plus the $40.00 standby fee
  • Bring acceptable identification.
  • You must bring a letter from your cleric or a notarized statement to verify your religious beliefs prohibit Saturday testing if doing standby on a Sunday or Monday. You will not be admitted without it.
  • Because the standby registration folder is processed after the test date, you will not be able to change college codes or cancel reports.

What if I miss my test date?

If you miss your test date then you have the following options:

  1. Request and pay for a test date change -You may go online or call ACT Registration at 319/337-1270 by the regular deadline for the new test date. Calling during the late registration period will result in a $20 late fee in addition to the test date change fee of $20, or a total of $40.
  2. Request a refund for optional services - In the event that you do not wish to reschedule and you ordered and paid for the additional services, then you may be issued a refund for:
  • 5th and 6th college codes
  • Test Information Release
  • ACT Writing Test

To request a refund, write "REFUND" on your unused admission ticket and mail it to ACT Registration, or write a letter including your identifying information and the test date and test option for which you registered. Label your envelope "REFUND." Refunds will be issued about 8 weeks after the test date and will be issued in the form of payment originally received (e.g., credit to your credit card, if that is how you paid). Requests for refunds received after July 31, 2009, will not be honored.