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What to Expect on Test Day


Test Day Checklist

Find out what to bring and what not to bring to the test center, and how to print your Admission Ticket.


  • Arrive at the test center no later than 7:45 a.m., unless your Admission Ticket says otherwise.
  • The doors to the testing rooms close about 8 a.m.
  • Testing starts between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Once testing has begun, latecomers cannot be admitted.
  • You are given two five-minute breaks, and you can consume snacks and drinks at these times.

In the Testing Room

  • Your ID and Admission Ticket will be checked whenever you enter the testing room. Keep your ID and Admission Ticket with you at all times in the center.
  • Wait to be seated — your seat is assigned, not chosen by you.
  • Test books, answer sheets, and calculators must remain on your desk during breaks.

Leave Your Phone at Home

You can’t use smartphones and some other electronic devices in the test center. There are serious repercussions for doing so. Learn more.

Taking the Tests

  • The test book includes all the Subject Tests that can be given on that day.
  • If you are taking the Language Test in November, it will be the first test of the day. You must be registered for a Language with Listening Test and cannot switch to a Listening Test on test day.
  • The test supervisor reads all instructions verbatim from a testing manual. He or she can only answer questions about procedure, not about test questions or content.
  • The test supervisor will tell you when to start and stop each test.
  • You must work within each test only for the time allotted.
  • You may not go back to a previous test once that test has ended.
  • You may not go ahead to a new test if you finish a test early.
  • After each hour of testing, the supervisor collects test books and answer sheets from students who are finished testing for the day. If you are taking another test, sit quietly until testing resumes.

See more details about test security.

Changing Subject Tests on Test Day

In general, you can take a different test from the one you signed up for — the test booklet contains all Subject Tests available that day, so just take the ones you want. But you can’t switch to a Language with Listening Test that you're not registered for, because they require special equipment.

If you decide to take fewer tests than you signed up for, just turn in your answer sheet before the next test begins. Remember, though, that once you start answering a test, you can't decide not to take it — you’ll have to cancel all tests taken that day to avoid having it scored.

You can also add a test on test day, if it’s being given on that day — but you can’t add a Language with Listening Test. You’ll be billed for the tests you add.

Test Day Mishaps

See what to do if you’re late to the test center, if you miss the test, if the test center is closed, or if your equipment malfunctions. Go to Test Day Mishaps.

Canceling Scores

If you feel you didn’t do your best on the test or if your equipment malfunctioned, you can cancel your scores on test day or within a few days afterward. Learn how.

Test Day Checklist

There are only a few things you really need to bring on test day and a lot of things you’ll be better off leaving at home.

What to Bring

What Not to Bring

  • Cellphones
  • Any devices, including digital watches, that can be used to record, transmit, receive, or play back audio, photographic, text, or video content (with the exception of CD players used for Language with Listening Subject Tests only)
  • Audio players/recorders, tablets, laptops, notebooks, Google Glass, or any other personal computing devices
  • Any texting device
  • Cameras or any other photographic equipment
  • Separate timers of any type
  • Your school counselor can share a complete list of prohibited devices — just ask to see the Official Student Guide.

Violations Mean Canceled Scores

The Do-Not-Bring list is serious: Your scores will be canceled if you’re caught using them, even during breaks. This includes cellphones.

Nice to Have

  • A watch (without an audible alarm)
  • Extra batteries and backup equipment
  • A bag or backpack
  • A drink or snacks (for your break)