“What do I take to the ACT test” is a question I hear often.
Yesterday,  I led a 2 hour ACT Masterclass with the students who live in my community. As a test prep coach to students all over the US (thanks to virtual meeting platforms like Zoom or Facetime), I love the chance to work with students in person as well. I sent the students home with a gallon sized plastic bag containing 5 of the 9 things they will need for the test center. Here is a breakdown of those items:
1. Wooden Pencils (#2 with erasers) – Take plenty of pencils in case one breaks during a test section. You don’t want to lose precious testing time by sharpening your pencil. I included 4 of my favorite Ticonderoga pre-sharpened pencils for my students.
2. Photo ID—Students will need a photo ID such as driver’s license, state ID or school ID to enter the test site.
3. Printed ACT or SAT registration ticket—My suggestion is to print this ticket by Thursday night to avoid any last minute, Saturday morning “Printer offline/Out of Ink/Printer is just Tired” messages.
4. Snack—Students will have a 10-15 minute break between the math and reading sections of the ACT. Fueling the body and avoiding the dreaded stomach growl is a smart way to stay focused for the last part of the test. Bring a protein and carb filled snack to gather up that last bit of energy. I included peanut M&Ms in my goodie bags, but I also suggested protein bars, cheese & crackers, or other protein-packed options.
5. Drink—To avoid the dreaded water fountain line, I suggest packing a bottled water for the break. Hydration is important for test day; I suggest students start drinking plenty of water the HOUR they wake up prior to leaving their house to head to the test site. I included a Smartwater brand bottled water; pun intended!
6. Peppermints–A burst of peppermint keeps the brain alert and ready to focus. Some might consider packing peppermint essential oils and put a small amount either on the tongue or behind one’s ear. I sent 8 of the Bob’s Sweet Stripes Mints with my students. They are my favorite!
7. Tissues—Just in case of a runny nose or allergy mishap, students should have facial tissues to avoid the dreaded “sleeve-wipe.” There is no guarantee that the classroom in which your student is testing will have tissues available. I packed Kleenex pocket packs for my students.
8. Calculator—Students should bring a calculator with which they are familiar. For a list of prohibited calculators, click here. http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/ACT-calculator-policy.pdf
9. Wrist watch—Students should bring an old-school, with-hands, turn-the-dial watch to keep track of their own time on the test. At the start of each of the 4 sections, set the watch to noon, push in the dial when the proctor says “begin”, and you have your own pacing clock.

Pack these things in a clear, gallon-size storage bag. After a hearty breakfast of protein and carbohydrates, you can send your student off to the test feeling prepared.

For more information on hacks for the test, refer to my other blogs.

For a free punctuation guide for the ACT, email me through www.jenhensonactprep.com.