Can I use a calculator?

The ACT Calculator Policy (effective September 1, 2014)

The ACT calculator policy is designed to ensure fairness for all examinees, avoid disturbances in the testing room, and protect the security of the test materials.

  • A permitted calculator may be used on the ACT Mathematics Test only.
  • It is the examinee’s responsibility to know whether their calculator is permitted.
  • Accessible calculators (such as audio/"talking," or Braille calculators) may be allowed under the accessibility policies for the ACT.

The following types of calculators are prohibited:

  • Calculators with built-in or downloaded computer algebra system functionality
    Prohibited calculators in this category include:
    • Texas Instruments:
      • All model numbers that begin with TI-89 or TI-92
      • TI-Nspire CAS—Note: The TI-Nspire (non-CAS) is permitted.
    • Hewlett-Packard:
      • HP Prime
      • HP 48GII
      • All model numbers that begin with HP 40G, HP 49G, or HP 50G
    • Casio:
      • fx-CP400 (ClassPad 400)
      • ClassPad 300
      • ClassPad 330
      • Algebra fx 2.0
      • All model numbers that begin with CFX-9970G
  • Handheld, tablet, or laptop computers, including PDAs
  • Electronic writing pads or pen-input devices—Note: The Sharp EL 9600 is permitted.
  • Calculators built into cell phones or any other electronic communication devices
  • Calculators with a typewriter keypad (letter keys in QWERTY format)—Note: Letter keys not in QWERTY format are permitted.

The following types of calculators are permitted, but only after they are modified as noted:

  • Calculators that can hold programs or documents—remove all documents and remove all programs that have computer algebra system functionality.
  • Calculators with paper tape—Remove the tape.
  • Calculators that make noise—Turn off the sound.
  • Calculators with an infrared data port—Completely cover the infrared data port with heavy opaque material such as duct tape or electrician’s tape (includes Hewlett-Packard HP 38G series, HP 39G series, and HP 48G).
  • Calculators that have power cords—Remove all power/electrical cords.

NOTE:

  • Examinees may bring any 4-function, scientific, or graphing calculator as long as it is a permitted calculator modified if needed as described above.
  • In a computer based testing environment, an on-screen calculator may be provided.
  • Sharing calculators during the test is not permitted, and the test proctor will not provide a calculator.
  • Examinees are responsible for ensuring that their calculator works properly. If their calculator uses batteries, the batteries should be strong enough to last throughout the testing session.
  • Examinees may bring a spare calculator and extra batteries.

Using the TI-89 is the most common reason students are dismissed from the ACT for prohibited calculator use.