Everyone needs a good calculator. Regardless of whether you are in school or not, a graphing calculator gives you the power to create mathematical solutions. Having one gives you the advantage to find the relation between different graphs and can be applied to a myriad of applications. That's why it's important to have a graphing calculator at your side.
But there is a problem that most shoppers tend to face. Most make the mistake of buying a calculator that's not accepted by standardized test regulations. Each of the calculators in this guide is accepted in virtually every standard testing site. Read on to know how each of them supports your mathematical needs.
Our primary goal is to give you the buying confidence to buy the right graphing calculator. You'll find that each calculator helps provide the most utility no matter which one you buy from this list. We'll thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of each calculator to give you a clear perspective of what you're going to get.
By the end of this article, you'll find a calculator that's right for you.
We are going to talk about these following topics. Each of them will help you gain a better understanding of the mechanics of calculators.
After that, we'll move onto our review. In the review section, we'll discuss our recommendations of some high-quality calculators. All of the devices on this list are great for students, engineers, and professionals.
Our Top Recommendation For Graphing Calculators
|Texas Instruments Nspire CX CAS Graphing Calculator||from $142.89||Buy on Amazon|
|Texas Instruments Ti-84 plus Graphing calculator - Black||from $83.01||Buy on Amazon|
|Casio FX-CP400-L Graphing Calculator||$321.41||Buy on Amazon|
|HP Prime Graphing Calculator||$93.30||Buy on Amazon|
|Casio fx-9750GII Graphing Calculator, White||$40.00||Buy on Amazon|
Last update on 2019-08-18 PST - Details
1. Texas Instruments Nspire Graphic Calculator
Starting off our list is the Texas Instruments graphic calculator. It's a small, yet powerful calculator that's designed to create multiple graphical representations. Get this product if you need an efficient and useful calculator for your math exams.
Students liked this calculator because of its ease of use. For instance, it comes with an instruction manual to help you get acquainted with the tool. Also, it comes with adjustable settings to give the user even more control. We suggest this calculator if you want something easy to control and use for complicated math problems.
Texas Instruments designed this calculator to create animations and complex geometrical shapes. Users liked this product because it gave them the ability to handle trigonometric equations. The calculator is powerful and gives students maximum utility for their money.
Another plus lies in its durability. While it's a lightweight calculator, it has a battery life that's longer than competing products. For instance, it has a lifespan of two weeks when fully charged. Because of this long life span, this calculator is great for long-term use.
But, there is one flaw that is associated with this calculator. Consumers started to experience problems with the rechargeable battery. On some occasions, it would charge with less power, making it harder for users to get the most out of the calculator. We suggest calling for a replacement if this problem occurs.
Additionally, there is another issue in the buttons. They require a harder amount of force to operate. Also, it makes a loud click when pressed. You might not want this calculator if you have to take exams where silence is necessary.
Overall, this is the best calculator for SAT exams. It's lightweight, durable, and easy to use. This calculator is suitable for beginners and students wanting to ace their standardized tests. Don't be afraid to call for a replacement if the batteries start to fail. Still, we think it's a great investment to get this product.
2. Texas Instruments TI-84 Graphing Calculator
Second on our list is the Texas Instruments TI-84. The device consists of a large LCD display which is used to create equations and graphs. Also, it has supplemental apps such as Inequality Graphing, Study Cards, and Transformation Graphing.
These help you by giving you the ability to solve more complex math problems. This device is proven to increase your scores on the SAT, ACT, and the Fe exams.
We like the calculator's ease of use. It's more forgiving in syntax because it allows the user to enter their computations in the RPN method. This means that the system is more lenient in the way the brackets are placed. Thus, it's a great entry-level calculator that's ideal for both high school and college students.
The Texas Instruments TI-84 has an advantage when it comes to standardized testing. It is acceptable by 100% of the educational community. Most higher end calculations come with too many features that aren't up to the standard testing policies. With this calculator, you'll be able to use it in any exam without the hassle.
In addition, the calculator comes with an impact-resistant case. This places it a step above competing devices because it has a high level of durability. You'll like this product if you need something sturdy to use during throughout your academic career.
However, there are complaints in regards to the usability of the calculator. After a few weeks of use, students noticed the device shutting completely off. The battery component of the motherboard becomes compromised in its connection and is unable to be repaired. Get a replacement if this calculator doesn't power on.
We believe that the TI-84 is a versatile calculator. It's durable and is accepted for every post-secondary education exam. Mainly, the TI-84 is ideal for students wanting a device that performs well both during exams and in everyday usage.
3. Casio Graphing Calculator
Next up is the Casio graphic calculator. The device comes with a large color display that can show multiple graphs. Also, it comes with a stylus to help users navigate the menu. We suggest this calculator for those who need a better visual representation for their graphs.
This calculator is designed to be easily viewed by students. For this reason, it has a backlight on the screen which makes it easier to see. In fact, it also has a high definition screen that makes the lines and the numbers look smooth. Buy the Casio graphic calculator if you need something that's easy to see and utilize.
Another feature we've noticed is its refined user interface. Students liked the device's ability to create simple and complex calculations. They generally found it easier to use in comparison to other calculating tools. Because of its user interface, it's a reliable and useful graphing calculator.
A few issues have been reported about the calculator's speed. Users noticed their devices going slower than its normal speed after 2 weeks of usage. As you use it more, the calculator becomes cluttered with data which slows down its performance in the long run. This is the same as with many computers, and having the cache cleared by a technician may help.
Some students noticed a defective screen when using this calculator. The screen would become hard to see if tilted in any direction. After a few weeks of use, the touchpad would not respond to their fingers or the stylus. Get a replacement calculator if any of these problems start to appear.
The Casio graphic calculator is useful if you need a high-quality visual representation of your graphs. It has a simple user interface and is easy to see in any and all lighting conditions. But, you'll need to watch out for its gradual loss of speed and sometimes defective screen.
You should purchase this calculator if you like a large screen that can accurately display your mathematical computations and equations.
4. HP Graphing Calculator
Fourth on our list is the HP Graphing Calculator. This calculator is made by a modern computer manufacturer, and they certainly know a bit about programming and hardware. It's a calculator that's versatile and meant to be used for simple and advanced mathematical computations.
HP's long-lasting rechargeable battery is the primary feature. Unlike competing devices, the battery has a lifespan up to a month when fully charged. Keep in mind that you may run into the rare situation of your calculator losing power in the middle of an exam. Get in the habit of charging this calculator before your exam in order to maximize its performance.
One feature we liked was the matrix input. Entering a matrix on the HP calculator is simple and you'll love it if you are taking a basic linear algebra or a quantum mechanics course in university. While the HP calculator is great for high school students, it offers enough sophisticated and advanced features for more adept users in college and beyond.
However, users found this calculator somewhat complicated to use. Unlike the TI branded calculators, the HP graphic calculator takes longer to learn to use properly. Inside the package box is an instruction manual that we recommend reading before using the device. It will give you the information needed to learn how to properly utilize this calculator.
Another flaw lies in its lack of a built-in 3D graphing system. 3D graphing is important as it allows the user to display accurate representations of their math computations. Look to purchase this calculator if you need a high-quality graph to demonstrate relationships between different algebraic equations.
The HP Graphing Calculator is a good pickup if you would like to learn something new or know how to troubleshoot on your own. You'll be rewarded with a powerful, fast, and sleek looking graphing calculator that you can use throughout the duration of your academic career.
5. Casio fx-9750GII Graphing Calculator
Last on our list is the Casio fx-9750GII Graphing Calculator. This model is ready to use right out of the package and is full of utility: AP features, abundant operating memory, and USB connectivity come together to create a powerful tool designed to support your academic and professional needs.
When it comes to hardware, this calculator comes loaded with classroom functionality you'll need. It displays calculations in an easy to use interface that's simple for students to understand and master. The fx-9750GII features an LCD display that produces easy to see graphics, data representation, and formulas to make it more accessible.
The software is another strong point for this calculator. Casio's intuitive software helps students grasp mathematical concepts easier by encouraging the student to engage with mathematics. This is different than other brands that require students to memorize a specific set of keys to be used fully. This calculator's software aids providing the best learning experience for students.
Most students experienced problems with the calculator's inability to compute exact values. This is frustrating because most exams have questions that relate to this issue. It lacks certain features that are often needed for advanced computations. Make sure to bring an extra calculator to the exam if you find issues with Casio's mathematical computations.
Students felt that the calculator's mechanics were hard to follow. Upon first using it, students found it hard to get used to the overall interface of the device. It doesn't provide graphs in color and has a steep learning curve. Avoid this product if you need a simple tool that displays high-quality graphs.
Still, we think it's the best calculator for the FE exam. FE exams require a calculator that can quickly show the user's input. The Casio fx-9759Gll does that and more by providing powerful hardware and software. Thus, it's a great entry-level calculator that can be used to practice for and pass exams of this type.
Why Should You Choose Your Calculator Carefully
A graphing calculator can be a costly investment, so before you buy one, you should carefully choose which one better suits your needs.
Exams are a very important part of your academic career. Standardized testing exams such as the SAT, ACT, and FE have very strict calculator policies that need to be adhered to. Having the wrong calculator is dangerous because these programs will fail you and remove you from the testing site. That's why you need to be careful when choosing your calculator.
The calculator you use on exam day should be one that you are the most familiar with. Dedicate time each day to understand how your calculator works and how you can use it to solve complex math problems.
Below are the following calculators that are prohibited by standardized exams.
Avoid using any of these calculators during your exams. If you have the wrong calculator your score will be marked invalid by the testing site. Save yourself time and money by investing in a calculator that's accepted by the exam you are planning to take.
There isn't a one-for-all calculator that works for everyone. You'll need to find a calculator that's easy to use, yet effective when you use it. Keep your personal needs in mind when getting a calculator for exams.
You must ask yourself these questions when looking for a calculator:
Asking these questions will help you make a good decision when buying a calculator. Most students tend to get calculators that don't suit their personal needs. This leads into them getting lower test scores than expected. Find a calculator that works the best for you and your academic goals.
Quality is a major concern amongst test-taking students. Cheaper calculator brands are highly ineffective and are harder to use during the exam. Avoid this issue by investing in a calculator that supplements your academic needs.
To determine the quality, give the calculator a test run. Practice by doing a set of math problems to see if the device is efficient in solving them. Look for a different calculator if the current one doesn't aid you in finding the mathematical solutions you are looking for.
You need a calculator whose quality matches with your academic needs. Low-quality calculators aren't going to give you the results that you desire. Prevent this issue by looking at the five products in this review. Each of them is guaranteed to help you during your exams, and there are all great for long-term academic use.
Selecting The Right Calculator
Here is the list of the graphing calculator brands that are accepted by all forms of standardized test programs:
Fortunately, the best calculators for these exams are on this review. Each of them will help you complete your exams faster due to their quality performance.
CAS vs. Non-CAS Models
CAS model calculators come with an added application that's useful for all students. It comes with handheld software called Computer Algebra System which helps students create, explore and simplify expressions in a symbolic form.
We suggest using a CAS calculator if you are experienced using graphing calculators. While it's a great feature, it might take some time to understand and use it properly.
Non-CAS model calculators are easier to use. They come with easy instructions and are user-friendly. Get this type of device if you are a beginner trying to learn how to use a graphing calculator.
RPN Vs. Algebraic Modes
There are two different types of modes that are used in making calculations. RPN and Algebraic modes are both popular forms of mathematical notation that different calculators use.
RPN calculators are different than the usual normal algebraic calculators. Unlike algebra calculators, they do not use parentheses if each operator has a fixed number of operands.
This means that the calculator doesn't need to use parentheses to do complex mathematical equations.
Algebraic modes are harder to use than RPN modes. While they do come with the parenthesis option, they are powerful enough to do the same calculations as RPN modes. Find which one of these modes is used by your calculator before you make a purchase.
Other Uses For Graphing Calculators
Calculators are not just limited to the academic field. They are also used by professionals in small to large businesses. Whether you are a student or a business person, a graphing calculator is a great tool for handling complex mathematical problems.
Graphing calculators are used in all fields of academic, science and math fields, as well as physics and astronomy. Also, it is commonly used by designers, architects, planners, and engineers. Professionals usually want a useful calculator that's capable of performing the functions associated with their field.
Try out different models and designs if you are using a calculator for business purposes. Make sure that the calculator you choose can perform the functions and calculations which you use most often. Then, check to see if the display and keys are adequate for your calculator's intended use.
For example, business people who need to calculate interest accruals, calculate payments and other financial computations might find a calculator made specifically to perform financial functions suited to their professional needs. Financial calculators, which are a variant of the graphing calculator, consist of keys that are used in areas of finance and business.
The Bottom Line
You need a graphing calculator no matter what level of education you have. They are versatile and are proven to help students increase their GPA and their test scores. In this review, we'll show you the best calculators that can help you achieve your academic goals.
Most post-secondary testing exams such as the SAT have strict guidelines on which calculator is to be used. Rest assured that each product on this review is 100% permitted by all college-level examinations. Every calculator on this list is made to help you improve your math skills within a short period.
The Texas Instruments Nspire Graphic Calculator is the winner. Unlike other calculators on this list, it provides the highest level of graphic representation. It's easy to use and has a myriad of extra features that can be utilized for any mathematical application. Ultimately, it's the best calculator for the ACT, SAT, and other college examinations.
Have any experiences using a graphing calculator for your exams?
Leave a comment below.