Did you know that 65% of the math questions on the SAT allow a calculator? CollegeBoard recommends students bring a calculator with which they are familiar with the SAT to avoid confusion and wasted time trying to figure out a new calculator. This tip will increase SAT scores and reduce any test day stress. A list of approved calculators can be found on the CollegeBoard website, and in general most scientific and graphing calculators are allowed on the SAT, PSAT, and AP exams. iPads, cell phones, and smartwatches cannot be used on the SAT, PSAT, or AP exams.
Students should have their own calculator to use in math class and to complete their math assignments. This should be the same calculator they plan to use for the PSAT, SAT, and/or AP exams. By using the same calculator daily, students will become familiar with the calculator’s features and will learn how the calculator can help them become more efficient and effective math problem solvers. During practice testing, it only makes sense to use the calculator you will use on the real test!
For Algebra 1 and Geometry, the Erie High Math Department recommends a scientific calculator (such as the Texas Instruments 30XS or Casio FX155ES). Make sure the scientific calculator has the trigonometric functions (sin, cos, and tan), a square root button, and an exponent button. For students in Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus, Trigonometry, Finite Math, Statistics, and Calculus, a graphing calculator (such as the TI-84) is recommended. Students learn how to use the graphic calculator and all of its graphing features while in these courses. Graphing calculators are an investment. Please keep in mind that students can use graphing calculators for their entire high school career and any post-secondary pathway. If your student is in AP Calculus or AP Statistics, a portion of the AP exam is graphing calculator required. The teachers for these courses will work with students to ensure they learn the necessary calculator skills for the AP exams. iPads and cell phones cannot be used for calculators on math assessments at Erie High School. If you have any questions about the appropriate calculator for your student, please talk to any Erie High math teacher or check out the course syllabus. The calculator recommendations are listed under the materials section of the syllabus.