Solving and preparing for SAT exam without a calculator is no doubt a herculean task. In this type of exam, every minute counts. In order to prevent your nerves from any sort of stress, you need to choose the appropriate device. As the market is flooded with various brands, it requires some serious effort to choose the right SAT calculator for you.
You have to carefully pick the right calculator for SAT math section. There are some essential features to look for in a calculator before making your purchase.
Which Calculators are allowed in SAT and PSAT Exams?
SAT and PSAT exams include two math sections. Before sitting for the exam one must know that a calculator is allowed for the second math portion and not for the first one. For achieving good grades, time management could only be made by choosing the right calculating device.
Acceptable SAT Calculators
- Battery-powered, handheld calculators.
- Most graphing calculators (especially all Ti plus models).
Unacceptable Calculators for SAT
- Some calculators having CAS functionality are not permitted for SAT exams.
- Smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets are not allowed to be used in SAT exams.
- The models with a noisy keyboard are also not allowed.
- The models that support wifi or Bluetooth connection are also not allowed.
List of the Best Calculator for SAT Math Section
In this article, we will try our best to provide you with details regarding the most recommended devices for the exam.
1- Texas Instrument TI-84 CE – Overall SAT Acceptable Calculator
Reasons to Buy:
The Texas Instrument TI-84 CE is the most popular calculator among students for SAT/ACT exam. It comes with a rechargeable battery and has well-spaced keys. The software on this calculator works flawlessly, so you won’t be facing any errors while solving your exam.
TI 84 CE graphing calculator is an incredible unit mostly used by SAT students. It is a multi-functional tool having almost all the essential features to handle pre-algebraic, statistical, and trigonometric expressions.
Unlike others, it has easy to use interface. Ti 84 CE has single-key functions, and the user does not need to memorize the combinations of keys.
To keep students focused the device does not support any Bluetooth, WIFI, or camera.
The unit is backed by a powerful rechargeable battery that can be used for up to a month on a single charge. The use of PYTHON (programming language) helps the students to design the program.
This calculator is approved for the college entrance exams tests like PSAT, SAT, ACT, IB® Diploma Program, and AP® tests.
2- CASIO PRIZM FX-CG50 – Best Graphing Calculator for SAT
Reasons to Buy:
It’s an affordable device with a high-resolution screen. Moreover, it comes with enough storage capacity to save important functions needed to solve SAT exam.
Also, it has an easy-to-use interface, so you don’t need to be an expert to scroll through different functions.
If you looking for a complete graphing calculator, then CASIO PRIZM FX-CG50 gives you the most value for your money.
It is an excellent combination of SAT and ACT functions. As the main requirement of SAT, the calculator lacks the CAS function. It is backed by 4 AA batteries that can operate for up to 250 hours. The unit has a high-resolution colour LCD that allows it to display 21 characters per 8 lines.
It has a natural textbook display and an intuitive icon-driven interface. This problem solver is programmable and has 16 MB of memory that allows you to create and store programs of your own. It also has a USB port and can communicate with other devices.
It does not use a traditional method and returns exact answers. For example, if you enter the value as a fraction, it will simplify the answer in fraction form.
Similarly, it has built-in functions to convert irrational and decimal fractions.
The unit is budget-friendly and also works for trigonometric, integrals, derivatives, and summation functions also.
Unlike others, it gives results most accurately and quickly. It has pre-installed apps like a spreadsheet, graphing conic sections (hyperbola, parabola, Ellipse, and circle), tabular data analysis, and the equation solver (simultaneous, polynomial, solver) in matrix form.
Casio PRIZM FX-CG50 also has some financial functions like net cash flows and compound interest.
It also has a detailed periodic table for the students dealing with chemistry. To add to its 3D capability assists you to plot 3 graphs at a time.
3- Casio FX-9750GII Graphing Calculator – Best Budget SAT Calculator
Reasons to Buy:
It’s one of the most highly-rated non-color graphing calculators available right now. There’s enough flash memory on this device to store your important equations and functions.
We really liked the battery life on this calculator, it lasts more than a year on normal use.
The screen and fonts on this calculator are bigger as compared to previous versions, and it’s now easier to read letters and numbers.
The Math IO on this device is easy to use as compared to other high-end calculators. Lastly, the lower price tag really makes this device worth buying if you have a tight budget range.
The Casio fx-9750GII graphing calculator is allowed for PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, and ACT college entrance exams and AP tests.
The unit comes with multifunctional tools of Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, AP Calculus, AP Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, and Finance & Business.
It has a high-resolution LCD that displays 21 characters per 8 lines. Its dot area technology previews figures, graphs, and statistical data more clearly.
The device has 62 KB of internal RAM that allows you to compute even complex calculations accurately and swiftly.
Its key features include Quick Pie Charts & Bar Graphs, Built-in Conic Equations, AP Statistics, list-based statistics, Graph x = f(y), inequality graphs, integral graphs, matrices, and much more.
The device is powered by 4 AAA batteries that can work up to 250 hours.
4- TI-Nspire CX CAS Graphing Calculator By Texas Instruments – Reliable Scientific SAT Calculator
Reasons to Buy:
If you want a rich screen on a graphing calculator, then this might be the right pick for you. The 3.5 inches screen on this device offers a crispy view when laying out graphs on the x-axis and y-axis.
Moreover, there are a lot of mathematical functions that you could execute with this calculator.
Whether it’s about quickly solving the math section in SAT exam or doing college algebra, the TI-Nspire CX CAS stands next to you.
You can use animations and sliders to explain the behavior of different graphs on this device.
This calculator helps you save a lot of time in your SAT exam when dealing with complex mathematical equations.
This calculator is counted among the advanced versions of calculators to date. Its sleek and smart device is flooded with a number of Math, Science, Algebra, Calculus, Trigonometric, and various other functions.
It has pre-installed CAS (Computer Algebraic System) technology that allows its user to compute algebraic expressions along with their variables.
It comes with a high-resolution LCD that previews variables, and exponents more clearly. Its backlit color display makes it easier for the students to use during night study sessions.
It can plot and analyze graphs using its different graph styles. The sliders can be used to explain the behavior of variables.
It can solve the limits automatically. The unit has eleven interactive zoom features that allow you to focus on a particular point in a graph.
It is also capable of solving the negative of complex numbers, and anti-derivatives, and returns the exact answers. You need not memorize the syntax of equations, as the problem solver has built-in apps that enter values in proper notations.
Just like a computer you can also create, edit and save documents in it.
It is intuitive and has a graphical user interface. As every second counts during the exam, its speedy processor makes accurate calculations in less than eight seconds.
Moreover, its 1200 SP rechargeable, replaceable battery assists you to operate the device for up to 2 weeks. It has an ample memory of 100 MB.
Standardized testing organizations have approved the TI-Nspire™ CX CAS graphing calculator has been approved by standardized testing organizations for SAT®, AP® and PSAT/NMSQT®, and some other state exams.
5- TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator – A Cheaper Calculator to Solve SAT/PSAT Exam
Reasons to Buy:
The TI-83 offers a very easy interface for students of math and science. You can solve complex mathematical equations and you can also carry out data plotting without any issues.
It also has a flash ROM memory to install third-party mathematical applications. The calculator is pre-installed with most needed applications like StudyCards and Vernier EasyData.
This is one of the bestselling products of Texas Instrument. What makes it popular is its budget-friendly price. It offers multifarious functions at a minimal price.
The unit has an incredible ability to calculate the problems of math, science, algebra, statistics, trigonometry, etc
The device comes with a sufficient RAM of 24 KB to store the data and return the results at a faster speed.
Similarly, it has a flash of 160 KB ROM memory. This feature enables, users, to upgrade their devices with advanced software.
It has a user-friendly interface and a well-readable display of 8 to 12 characters long. It also has a screen resolution of 64 x 96 pixels.
The back-lit screen feature makes it easier for the user to navigate from point to point in a graph. Being a graphing calculator it can plot and analyze graphs in six different styles.
It is powered by 4 AAA batteries along with a lithium-ion battery. The former prevents the data in case of failure of the latter one. The unit is compatible with Ti 84 Plus and other Ti plus silver edition models.
And this calculator is approved by standardized organizations to be used in tests like SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, ACT, AP, IB, and Praxis exams.
6- TI 89 Titanium – Highly Recommended Calculator for SAT/ACT Math Section
Reasons to Buy:
If you need a device that can solve calculus, algebra, stats, and matrices, then TI 89 Titanium calculator will surely meet up your expectations.
There’s 188 KB RAM and 2.7 MB flash memory for storing important functions, data, and graphs.
The most exciting feature is that you can connect this calculator to your PC to transfer all of your important data.
There’s a lot you can do with this device, especially if it’s about moving back into your equation to change variables and signs, or making changes to the whole equation if needed.
For dealing with complex numbers or differentiating and integrating the value of x, this might be the most reliable calculator to go with.
The unit comes with powerful tools to compute the problems related to basic level maths, calculus, algebra, matrices, trigonometry, statistical functions, partial derivatives, etc.
As a graphing calculator, it has a 3D capability to plot graphs for a better understanding of complex equations. The built-in CAS functionality or Computer Algebra System enables the device to insert and evaluate the equations along with their variables.
It comes with dimensions of 7.5 x 0.9 x 3.3 inches. It is handy and weighs 5.2 ounces. It has 188 kb RAM which is enough to process the data swiftly.
And 2.7MB of flash memory spurs its storage capability as well as helps it to support any future upgrades
Moreover, in your TI-89 Titanium, you can customize the menu and apps as per your desire.
It includes symbolic manipulation, constants, measurement units, statistics and data plots, a numeric solver, and a text editor.
The device comes with a USB port and an i/o cable along with a computer cable to allow synchronization between other Ti devices and with computers. The device is permitted to be used in SAT, AP, and ACT exams.
Both come with almost the same features except CAS, yes this calculator lacks CAS functionality.
That is why it can be used in various tests including SAT, ACT, and some other exams where the use of CAS is prohibited.
Conclusion & Final Verdict
To sum up, by analyzing the above calculators we can assume that currently, Texas and Casio manufacturers are dominating the market.
Both calculator brands are providing the best features and have been approved by certified testing organizations to be used for SAT, ACT, and various other tests.
Remember no calculator comes up with a perfect combination of all your desired features.
Yet reading this article will definitely help you to choose the best calculator to use in an SAT exam while staying within your budget and needs.
What are the requirements for the calculators to be used for SAT?
As per SAT policy, the calculator must fall into any of the three categories. It may be a graphing calculator, a scientific one, or a four-function calculator.
However, it must not support any Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or wireless communication.
Does a calculator with CAS functionality acceptable for SAT?
Yes, certain CAS calculators are approved for SAT and AP by standardized testing authorities. But these devices are not allowed for ACT exams.
What are the most recommended brands of calculators for SAT?
Advanced models of Texas and Casio are mostly recommended by teachers.
Can you use TI-84 on SAT?
Yes, TI-84 is one of those calculators that is approved for SAT exam. Most graphing calculators are allowed for students who are appearing in PSAT or SAT exams.
Is fx991ex allowed in SAT?
Yes, the Casio FX991 ex is allowed in the SAT exam. Also, you can use higher models in the FX991 series.
Is TI 30x IIS allowed on SAT?
Yes, the Ti 30x IIS is approved to be used in the SAT exam.
How to use SAT calculator?
Using a calculator is only allowed in the section labeled Math Test – Calculator Allowed. You cannot use the calculator in the section that states “No Calculator”. You can also ask your examiner about the part of the exam where you can use the calculator.