Prohibited Behavior at the Test Center

The following behaviors are prohibited. You will be dismissed and your answer document will not be scored if you are found:

  • Filling in or altering responses on a test section on your answer sheet or continuing to complete the essay after time has been called on that test section. This means that you cannot make any changes to a test section outside of the designated time for that section, even to fix a stray mark or accidental keystroke.
  • Looking back at a test section on which time has already been called.
  • Looking ahead in the test booklet.
  • Looking at another person's test booklet or answer document.
  • Giving or receiving assistance by any means.
  • Discussing or sharing of test content, test form identification numbers, or answers during test administration, during breaks, or after the test is prohibited.
  • Using a prohibited calculator. See the ACT Calculator Policy (PDF).
  • Using a calculator on any test section other than Mathematics.
  • Sharing a calculator with another person.
  • Using a watch with recording, internet, or communication capabilities.
  • Using any electronic device at any time during testing or during break other than an approved calculator or watch. All other electronic devices, including cell phones and wearable devices, must be turned off and placed out of reach from the time you are admitted to test until you are dismissed after testing concludes.
  • Attempting to memorize test-related information or otherwise remove test materials, including questions or answers, from the test room in any way.
  • Using highlight pens, colored pens or pencils, notes, dictionaries, or other aids.
  • Using scratch paper (unless an exception applies).
    • Specific instructions will be provided on test day if ACT authorized you to use scratch paper, including the section(s) on which ACT has authorized its use.
    • If you are permitted to use scratch paper, you may only use paper that ACT has authorized and/or provided to you.
  • Not following instructions or abiding by the rules of the test center.
  • Exhibiting confrontational, threatening, or unruly behavior; or violating any laws. If ACT suspects you are engaging in criminal activities, such activities will be reported to law enforcement agencies.
  • Allowing an alarm to sound in the test room or creating any other disturbance.

All items brought into the test center, such as hats, purses, backpacks, cell phones, calculators, and other electronic devices may be searched at the discretion of ACT and its testing staff. ACT and its testing staff may confiscate and retain for a reasonable period of time any item suspected of having been used, or being capable of being used, in violation of this list of prohibited behaviors. ACT may also provide such items to third parties in connection with an investigation conducted by ACT or others.  ACT and its testing staff shall not be responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.

Examinees who are dismissed due to prohibited behavior forfeit their registration for that test date. There are no options for refunds or appeals in situations involving prohibited behavior. For more details, see the ACT's Terms and Conditions (PDF).

Cheating hurts everyone – if you see it, report it.

You can make an anonymous report about test security by using the Test Security Hotline. Discussing test content—including on social media—is not permitted.

Students who don't do their own work put honest students at a disadvantage. Whether it's using a cheat sheet, copying someone else's work, or sending another person to take the test, we all feel cheated when someone tries to game the system.

Every examinee deserves the chance to show he or she has learned. ACT has designed its testing procedures to give you and other honest students an equal opportunity to demonstrate your own academic achievement on a fair and equal playing field.

If you suspect that someone is trying to take unfair advantages or encounter anything else out of the ordinary, please report it to ACT.

Keep the ACT fair. Report cheating and comply with all testing rules.

We Do This for You

Our test security procedures are designed to ensure that examinees have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their academic achievement and skills, that examinees who do their own work are not unfairly disadvantaged by examinees who do not, and that scores reported for each examinee are valid.

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