The ACT is a standardized test that is widely used for college admissions in the United States. It covers four main subject areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. Students are allowed to use calculators on the Mathematics and Science sections of the ACT, but only certain types of calculators are permitted.
In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to ACTapproved calculators. We will discuss the different types of calculators that are allowed on the ACT, as well as the features that are prohibited. We will also provide tips for choosing the right calculator for your child and answer some frequently asked questions about ACTapproved calculators.
The ACT is a challenging test, but it can be made easier with the right tools. By choosing the right calculator and familiarizing yourself with its features, you can help your child achieve their best score on the ACT.
ACT Approved Calculators
Essential Information for Students and Parents
 Only certain types allowed
 Check ACT guidelines
 No graphing calculators
 Scientific calculators permitted
 Calculator features restricted
 Memory must be cleared
 Choose a reliable model
 Practice using the calculator
By following these guidelines, students can ensure that they have the right calculator for the ACT and that they are familiar with its features. This will help them to perform their best on the test.
Only certain types allowed
The ACT organization has a specific list of approved calculators that students are allowed to use on the Mathematics and Science sections of the test. This list includes scientific calculators, graphing calculators, and fourfunction calculators. However, not all calculators within these categories are permitted. For example, graphing calculators with features such as computer algebra systems (CAS) or the ability to store programs are not allowed.

Scientific calculators:
These are the most common type of calculator allowed on the ACT. They typically have a variety of mathematical functions, including trigonometric, logarithmic, and exponential functions. Some scientific calculators also have graphing capabilities, but these features are not allowed on the ACT.

Graphing calculators:
Only certain graphing calculators are allowed on the ACT. These calculators must not have CAS or the ability to store programs. Additionally, the graphing features of these calculators must be disabled during the test.

Fourfunction calculators:
These calculators can only perform basic arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). They do not have any advanced mathematical functions or graphing capabilities.

Calculators not allowed:
Calculators with CAS, the ability to store programs, or other advanced features are not allowed on the ACT. Additionally, calculators that are not on the ACT’s approved list are also prohibited.
Students should carefully check the ACT’s guidelines to ensure that they are using an approved calculator. Calculators that are not on the approved list will not be allowed in the testing room.
Check ACT guidelines
The ACT organization publishes a detailed list of approved calculators on its website. This list is updated regularly, so it is important to check the ACT guidelines before purchasing a calculator for the test. Students can also find information about calculator policies and procedures on the ACT website.

Review the list of approved calculators:
The ACT’s website has a comprehensive list of all calculators that are approved for use on the test. Students should carefully review this list to ensure that their calculator is included.

Check for updates:
The ACT occasionally updates its list of approved calculators. Students should check the ACT website regularly to ensure that they have the most uptodate information.

Read the calculator policy:
The ACT has a specific calculator policy that outlines the rules and procedures for using calculators on the test. Students should read this policy carefully to understand what is and is not allowed.

Contact ACT customer service:
If students have any questions about the ACT’s calculator policy or the list of approved calculators, they can contact ACT customer service for assistance.
By following these steps, students can ensure that they are using an approved calculator on the ACT and that they are familiar with the calculator policy. This will help them to avoid any problems on test day.
No graphing calculators
Graphing calculators are not allowed on the ACT because they can be used to perform complex calculations and solve problems that are beyond the scope of the test. For example, graphing calculators can be used to find the roots of equations, graph functions, and perform statistical analysis. These features give students an unfair advantage over those who are using less powerful calculators.
However, certain graphing calculators are allowed on the ACT, provided that their graphing and other advanced features are disabled. These calculators must be on the ACT’s approved list and must meet the following requirements:
 The calculator must be able to be set in a mode that disables all graphing and other advanced features.
 The calculator must be able to be cleared of all memory, including programs and data.
 The calculator must not be able to communicate with other calculators or electronic devices.
Students who plan to use a graphing calculator on the ACT should carefully read the ACT’s calculator policy and make sure that their calculator meets all of the requirements. Students who are caught using a graphing calculator that is not allowed will be disqualified from the test.
In addition to being prohibited on the ACT, graphing calculators are also not allowed on many other standardized tests, including the SAT, PSAT, and AP exams. Therefore, it is important for students to become familiar with the calculator policies for all of the tests that they plan to take.
Students who are unsure about whether or not their calculator is allowed on the ACT should contact ACT customer service for assistance.
By following these guidelines, students can ensure that they are using an approved calculator on the ACT and that they are familiar with the calculator policy. This will help them to avoid any problems on test day.
Scientific calculators permitted
Scientific calculators are the most common type of calculator allowed on the ACT. They typically have a variety of mathematical functions, including trigonometric, logarithmic, and exponential functions. Some scientific calculators also have graphing capabilities, but these features must be disabled during the test.
When choosing a scientific calculator for the ACT, students should look for a model that has the following features:
 Basic arithmetic functions: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
 Trigonometric functions: sine, cosine, tangent, and their inverses
 Logarithmic functions: common and natural logarithms
 Exponential functions: e^x and 10^x
 Memory functions: for storing and recalling values
 Parentheses: for grouping operations
 Exponents: for raising numbers to powers
 Square roots and cube roots
 Percentages: for calculating percentages and discounts
Students should also make sure that their calculator is on the ACT’s approved list. Calculators that are not on the approved list will not be allowed in the testing room.
Here are some tips for using a scientific calculator on the ACT:
 Be familiar with the calculator’s functions and buttons. Practice using the calculator before the test so that you are comfortable with all of its features.
 Use the calculator efficiently. Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to use the calculator during the test. Focus on the questions and use the calculator to help you solve them quickly and accurately.
 Check your work. After you have solved a problem, use the calculator to check your answer. This will help you to catch any errors that you may have made.
By following these tips, students can use their scientific calculators to their advantage on the ACT.
Scientific calculators are a valuable tool for students taking the ACT. By choosing the right calculator and using it effectively, students can improve their scores and increase their chances of success.
Calculator features restricted
The ACT organization restricts the use of certain calculator features on the Mathematics and Science sections of the test. These restrictions are in place to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to succeed on the test, regardless of the type of calculator they are using.
The following calculator features are restricted on the ACT:
 Computer algebra systems (CAS)
 Graphing capabilities
 The ability to store programs or data
 The ability to communicate with other calculators or electronic devices
Calculators that have any of these features will not be allowed in the testing room. Students who are caught using a calculator with restricted features will be disqualified from the test.
In addition to the above restrictions, the ACT also prohibits the use of calculators that are not on its approved list. Calculators that are not on the approved list may not have the necessary functions or may have features that are not allowed on the test.
Students who are unsure about whether or not their calculator is allowed on the ACT should contact ACT customer service for assistance.
Here are some tips for avoiding problems with calculator features on the ACT:
 Choose a calculator that is on the ACT’s approved list.
 Make sure that your calculator does not have any of the restricted features listed above.
 Disable any graphing or other advanced features on your calculator before the test.
 Clear the memory of your calculator before the test.
 Do not use your calculator to communicate with other calculators or electronic devices during the test.
By following these tips, students can avoid any problems with calculator features on the ACT and focus on doing their best on the test.
The ACT’s calculator restrictions are in place to ensure fairness and equity for all students. By following the guidelines above, students can ensure that they are using an approved calculator and that they are not using any restricted features.
Memory must be cleared
The ACT requires that all calculators be cleared of all memory before the test. This includes programs, data, and any other information that may be stored on the calculator.
There are two reasons for this requirement:
 To prevent cheating: Students who have stored programs or data on their calculators could use them to gain an unfair advantage on the test.
 To ensure fairness: All students should have the same opportunity to succeed on the test, regardless of the type of calculator they are using. Clearing the memory of all calculators ensures that all students are starting from the same point.
Students who are caught using a calculator that has not been cleared of all memory will be disqualified from the test.
To clear the memory of your calculator, follow these steps:
 Turn on the calculator.
 Press the “MODE” button.
 Select the “Memory” or “Clear” option.
 Press the “Enter” or “OK” button.
Some calculators may have a dedicated “Clear Memory” button. If your calculator has this button, simply press it to clear the memory.
Once you have cleared the memory of your calculator, you should doublecheck to make sure that it is empty. To do this, try to recall a value that you previously stored in memory. If the calculator displays an error message or does not display the value, then the memory has been cleared successfully.
It is important to clear the memory of your calculator before every ACT test. This will help to ensure that you are not disqualified from the test and that you have the same opportunity to succeed as all other students.
By following the ACT’s guidelines, students can avoid any problems with calculator memory and focus on doing their best on the test.
Choose a reliable model
When choosing a calculator for the ACT, it is important to select a reliable model that will not malfunction during the test. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a calculator:
 Brand reputation: Some calculator brands are known for their reliability and durability, while others are more likely to malfunction. Do some research to find out which brands have a good reputation among students and test takers.
 User reviews: Read online reviews to see what other people have to say about the calculator you are considering. Look for reviews that mention the calculator’s reliability, durability, and ease of use.
 Warranty: Choose a calculator that comes with a warranty. This will protect you in case the calculator malfunctions or breaks.
 Price: Calculators can range in price from a few dollars to over a hundred dollars. Choose a calculator that fits your budget, but don’t sacrifice quality for price.
Once you have considered these factors, you can narrow down your choices and select a calculator that is reliable and meets your needs.
Here are some additional tips for choosing a reliable calculator:
 Choose a calculator that is easy to use. You don’t want to be fumbling with your calculator during the test. Choose a model that has a clear display and easytouse buttons.
 Make sure that the calculator has a long battery life. You don’t want your calculator to run out of batteries during the test. Choose a model that has a long battery life or that can be used with a backup battery.
 Test the calculator before the test. Once you have chosen a calculator, test it out to make sure that it is working properly. Try performing some basic calculations and make sure that the answers are correct.
By following these tips, you can choose a reliable calculator that will help you succeed on the ACT.
A reliable calculator is an essential tool for success on the ACT. By taking the time to choose a calculator that is reliable and meets your needs, you can improve your chances of getting a good score.
Practice using the calculator
Once you have chosen a calculator for the ACT, it is important to practice using it before the test. This will help you to become familiar with the calculator’s functions and buttons, and it will also help you to identify any potential problems.
 Learn the basic functions. Make sure that you know how to perform basic arithmetic operations, as well as more advanced functions such as trigonometric and logarithmic functions.
 Practice using the calculator’s memory. This can be helpful for storing intermediate results or for recalling values that you have previously calculated.
 Time yourself. The ACT is a timed test, so it is important to be able to use your calculator quickly and efficiently. Practice using the calculator under timed conditions to get a sense of how long it takes you to perform different calculations.
 Identify any potential problems. Are there any functions that you have difficulty using? Are there any buttons that are difficult to press? If you identify any potential problems, make sure to practice using those functions or buttons until you are comfortable with them.
By practicing with your calculator, you can become more familiar with its functions and buttons, and you can identify any potential problems. This will help you to use your calculator effectively on the ACT and improve your chances of getting a good score.
FAQ
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about calculators for the ACT:
Question 1: What types of calculators are allowed on the ACT?
Answer: Only certain types of calculators are allowed on the ACT. These include scientific calculators, graphing calculators (with certain restrictions), and fourfunction calculators. Graphing calculators with CAS (computer algebra systems) or the ability to store programs are not allowed.
Question 2: How do I know if my calculator is approved for the ACT?
Answer: The ACT publishes a list of approved calculators on its website. You can find this list by searching for “ACT approved calculator list.”
Question 3: What features are restricted on calculators for the ACT?
Answer: The ACT restricts the use of certain calculator features, including CAS, graphing capabilities, the ability to store programs or data, and the ability to communicate with other calculators or electronic devices.
Question 4: Do I need to clear the memory of my calculator before the ACT?
Answer: Yes, you must clear the memory of your calculator before the ACT. This includes programs, data, and any other information that may be stored on the calculator.
Question 5: How can I choose a reliable calculator for the ACT?
Answer: When choosing a calculator for the ACT, consider factors such as brand reputation, user reviews, warranty, and price. Choose a calculator that is easy to use, has a long battery life, and is reliable.
Question 6: Should I practice using my calculator before the ACT?
Answer: Yes, it is important to practice using your calculator before the ACT. This will help you to become familiar with the calculator’s functions and buttons, and it will also help you to identify any potential problems.
Closing Paragraph:
By following these FAQs, you can choose and use an ACTapproved calculator effectively on test day. Remember to practice with your calculator beforehand to ensure that you are comfortable with its functions and features.
Now that you know more about ACTapproved calculators, here are some additional tips to help you choose and use the right calculator for the test.
Tips
Here are some additional tips for choosing and using a calculator for the ACT:
Tip 1: Choose a calculator that is easy to use.
The ACT is a timed test, so you don’t want to waste time fumbling with your calculator. Choose a model that has a clear display and easytouse buttons. You should also make sure that you are familiar with the calculator’s functions and features before the test.
Tip 2: Bring a backup calculator.
Even if you have a reliable calculator, it’s a good idea to bring a backup calculator to the ACT. This will give you peace of mind in case your primary calculator malfunctions or runs out of batteries.
Tip 3: Use your calculator efficiently.
The ACT is a timed test, so you need to be able to use your calculator quickly and efficiently. Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to use the calculator during the test. Practice using the calculator beforehand so that you are familiar with its functions and buttons.
Tip 4: Check your work.
After you have solved a problem, use your calculator to check your answer. This will help you to catch any errors that you may have made.
Closing Paragraph:
By following these tips, you can choose and use a calculator effectively on the ACT. Remember to practice with your calculator beforehand and to bring a backup calculator on test day.
With the right calculator and a little practice, you can use your calculator to your advantage on the ACT and improve your chances of getting a good score.
Conclusion
Summary of Main Points:
 Only certain types of calculators are allowed on the ACT.
 The ACT publishes a list of approved calculators on its website.
 Certain calculator features are restricted on the ACT, including CAS, graphing capabilities, and the ability to store programs or data.
 Calculators must be cleared of all memory before the ACT.
 It is important to choose a reliable calculator that is easy to use and has a long battery life.
 Students should practice using their calculators before the ACT to become familiar with their functions and buttons.
Closing Message:
By following the guidelines and tips in this article, you can choose and use a calculator effectively on the ACT. Remember to practice with your calculator beforehand and to bring a backup calculator on test day. With the right calculator and a little practice, you can use your calculator to your advantage on the ACT and improve your chances of getting a good score.
Good luck on the ACT!