Can I take a calculator to my ACT exam?

The ACT allows the use of calculators for the Mathematics Test, and the American College Testing Program (the people who sponsor the exam) recommends that each test taker bring a calculator to the test. Even though no question will require the use of a calculator — that is, each question can be answered without one — in some instances, using a calculator will save you valuable time. 

Calculator Do's

  • Make sure that you're familiar with the way your calculator works.
  • Make sure that your calculator has new, fresh batteries.
  • Keep in mind that if there appears to be too much computation or the problem seems impossible without the calculator, you're probably doing something wrong.
  • Before doing an operation, check the number that you keyed in on the display to make sure that you didn't make a mistake.
  • Be sure to carefully clear the calculator before beginning new calculations.

Calculator Don'ts

  • Don't rush out and buy a sophisticated calculator just for the test.
  • Don't bring a calculator that you're unfamiliar with.
  • Don't bring a pocket organizer, handheld computer, laptop, or calculator with a typewriter-type keypad or paper tape.
  • Don't bring a calculator that makes noise.
  • Don't try to use a calculator on every problem.