What Calculators are Allowed on The ACT?

What Calculators are Allowed on The ACT

Already there is a lot to think about before the test day of ACT. This includes, how you will reach the test center, what snacks will you take with you and what will you wear. While you are getting prepared, you may also think about what calculators are allowed on the ACT?

However, you don’t need to worry because we got you covered. This is the guide for you to let you know the ACT calculator policy to help you determine what device you can take with you to the test room.

The Calculator Policy of ACT

To clearly know what calculators are allowed on the ACT, you can also understand when calculators are allowed on the ACT. It is essential because it is only allowed for the mathematics section. Oftentimes, students believe that it is allowed for science too but it is not.

On the day of the test, there are proctors who check your calculator before you begin doing those questions.

What Calculators Are Permitted on the ACT?

There are a lot of calculators allowed by ACT and this makes it a big challenge to give you a 100% accurate list of the calculators permitted on the ACT.

But good thing is that there are some general guidelines that you can consider to see if your calculator is fit for the test. The basic info is;

  • You are good to go if you have a basic four function calculator.
  • Your calculator device is fine if it has TI-83+/84 but there is something more.

For the students who have TI-83+/84 devices, there is a “wait a minute” sign for you before you enter your testing room. It is because ACT does not let you have a calculator with any program installed.

Might be some of you have put Tetris on your devices just for a little clandestine fun in between your math lecture. But the proctor will surely verify that your APPS bank is empty before letting you enter the test. So if you got anything there, get it cleared.

There are some calculators that you are allowed to use in a certain way with a particular kind of modification. Here are the points you need to know;

  • You can use the calculators that is able to hold programs or documents if you take out each one of it and get rid of any programs with CAS i.e. Computer Algebra System.
  • You are allowed to use the calculators with paper tape if you get rid of it.
  • You are permitted to use the calculators that make certain noises but after muting it down.
  • You are good to go if you have a calculator with infrared data ports but only if you cover the port with duct tape or electric tape.
  • You can use the calculators that have cords but you need to take out that cord.

Following the ACT policy, these are the few cases that are fine to use on your ACT test day;

  • TI-Nspire non-CAS
  • Sharp EK 9600
  • Calculators having a non-QWERTY keyboard

The Calculators that are Not Allowed on the ACT

Actually, the ACT is much more precise for the calculators that you cannot use on your test. Those are the ones that are;

  • Any calculator having a CAS, Computer Algebra System
  • Calculators having QWERTY letter keyboard
  • Calculators with files and programs downloaded
  • Computers, handheld and laptops
  • Cell phone and such other device-based calculator

Such of the calculator models that are not allowed are;

  • Texas instruments calculators particularly with the model numbers that begin with TI-89 or TI-92, TI-Nspire CAS. Although, the TI-Nspire non-CAS is fine with ACT test.
  • Hewlett Packard calculators that model number begins with HP 40G, HP 49G, or HP 50 G; HP 48GII and HP Prime.
  • Those CASIO model calculators which begins with CFX-9970G; fx-CP400 that is ClassPad 400, ClassPad 300 or ClassPad 330, also Algebra Fx 2.0.

Using Your ACT Calculator To Your Own Benefit

So now it’s quite clear to you that which calculators you can take with you on the test day and when it is usable for you. But as now you can use a calculator for each of your math problems, should you really do that?

Here are some of the best strategies for you to use your calculator on the ACT to make it work best for you.

Get Critical for When and How To Use Your ACT Permitted Calculator

One of the important parts of the calculator getting used on the ACT is that no question requires you to use it. The technical point is that all of those are solvable without one.

In fact, using a calculator can slow you down. In this regard, you should avoid this by writing each of your steps down and circling those where you will use your calculator. Also, this will be a great help in keeping the mistakes from cascading.

Practice With Your Calculator Prior Your Final Test

Never consider getting a calculator right before your final test that you don’t even know how it works. This will actually slow you down alongside increasing the stress. And definitely, this would be the last thing you want to think about while taking your ACT test.

Make Sure To Use Graphic Functions

The greatest news is that graphic calculators are allowed on the ACT. However, do not go wild with the graphing function. But when you are on your coordinate geometry issues or algebra problems that demand you to find the x-intercept, make sure to use it.

Also, keep in mind that if you do not have a graphic calculator or you do not know the way to use it then it’s much better to opt for a non-graphic calculator that you know about.

Related post: 6 Best Graphing Calculator in 2021

Back Solve By Using Your Calculator

Back solving is the way in which you add answer choices into the problem step having variables. Yes, it seems time-consuming because you need to do the same issue a lot of time. However, back solving with the use of your calculator can make you get rid of this time crunch.

Take a Backup Calculator With You

The major rule for the ACT calculator is the same as the medical oath, do no harm. The crucial thing you need to know is that your calculator should never cause you stress.

Keeping this in mind, you should avoid a broken or dead battery calculator on your final test day. You can avoid this by taking a backup calculator with you just in case something happens.


As you finally get to know that you have a calculator that is allowed in the ACT then make sure to use it while practicing for your ACT mathematics test.

Doing this makes you comfortable with your device so you will be confident while giving finals. Hope this article What Calculators are Allowed on The ACT helps you with your ACT test. Best of luck!

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