What Calculators Do I Need for College Algebra?3 min read

A graphing calculator is at the top of the must-have list when you are getting into advanced-level studies. Indeed it is a blessing in disguise when the students are surrounded by ambiguity and confusion to solve complicated functions of Math, Statistics, Physics, or any other subject that requires calculations.

The market offers a wide range of calculators with a variety of features and prices. It has become equally tedious for the users to choose the right one. Here are some recommendations that will assist you in opting for the device as per your needs.


Scientific Calculator VS Graphing Calculator

People usually inter-relate a scientific calculator with a graphing calculator. They think both operate the same functions. However, the two perform totally different operations.

 A scientific calculator allows you to perform basic scientific and mathematical functions including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and some trigonometric functions. But they are unable to plot graphs.

Whereas a graphing calculator can perform all the regular functions of a scientific calculator.

However, it takes an edge over its high-resolution screen that allows you to insert complex functions and plot graphs. Graphing calculators are ideal for solving college algebra problems more easily as compared to normal scientific calculators.

Things to Consider in Algebra Calculator

  • A well-readable display
  • Well defined functions
  • Enough built-in memory
  • Battery life
  • Price

Best Brands of Algebra Calculators to Consider

Ti-83 plus calculator

It is one of the most recommended calculators for beginners. The device better assists you in handling middle to high-school-level mathematical and scientific problems.

It is easy to use and of great advantage for the students dealing with Algebra 1 and 2, pre-calculus, Physics, Chemistry, and trigonometric and financial functions.

The calculator has a maximum capacity to store up to 10 matrices. And it previews equations, graphs, and coordinates on the same screen.

It proves to be the best choice if you are at entry-level and do not want more advanced functions. Also approved for the test SAT, AP, PSAT, and ACT.

Ti-84 plus calculator

Ti 84 comes with captivating features. This multifunctional tool is best to meet the educational requirements of the students learning high school Maths and Science.

It has Math print technology. And its widescreen helps the users to view the input and output on the same screen.

The instrument is best if you are handling some advanced-level algebra.

CASIO FX115-ES plus

Although it is a scientific calculator but is mostly used as an alternative to a graphing calculator.

What makes it most popular is its natural textbook display and its budget-friendly price with a maximum number of functions needed by a high school grade student.

To your wonder, it has 280 built-in functions including algebra, statistics, complex numbers, linear regression, trigonometry, and fraction to decimal conversion, etc. Its multi-replay feature allows you to review the values entered and edit them if required.

Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/Scientific Calculator

This is another excellent device for pre-algebra and pre-calculus. It previews multiple calculations simultaneously. Its Math print feature enables students to view symbols, fractions, and equations similar to those printed in their textbooks.

Above all, it provides adequate functions at such an economical price. The instrument is ideal where the use of graphing technology is prohibited.


It has almost all the functions a graphing calculator must have. This calculator works better for the subjects like Math, pre-algebra, AP calculus, and trigonometry. The built-in functions are easy to use.

Due to its speedy processing, the most difficult calculations are evaluated fastly and accurately. The USB function in the device helps it to communicate with other devices when attached.

It is approved for the tests of SAT, PSAT, and other college tests.

Helect 2-Line engineering /scientific calculator

It is an ideal option to calculate algebraic expressions. This calculator has a well-read wide display that previews the input and results simultaneously. The device comes with all essential functions that can handle initial-level algebra, trigonometry, and Maths.

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