Graphing Calculator FAQ
What calculator do you recommend?
We recommend the TI-84 Plus calculator (non color). This calculator will include all the features necessary for Algebra II, Discrete, AP Statistics, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus and AP Calculus. If students are only taking Algebra II and they have access to a TI-83 it will work great.
The TI-84 Plus color version is very cool but it graphs slower. If you wish to have the color features that is great but be prepared to wait a bit for the graph to show up. (See comparison chart link below)
Can I use a TI-Inspire, a TI – 89 or a Casio graphing calculator?
In general, we do not recommend a Casio or the TI-Inspire or the TI -89 because we do not demonstrate with them in class. Students who excel at math, are independent learners, and are willing to read a manual would be okay with these calculators. They do have some cool features. Students who learn by seeing examples demonstrated in class would not do as well and generally fall behind on their calculator usage skills. Even though the extra features seem like they would be helpful the operation of the calculators is different and there is a learning curve. Consider very carefully before purchasing one of these.
Use this chart for additional information when comparing TI calculators
What if we cannot afford a calculator at this time?
If you cannot afford a calculator, talk to your child's teacher librarian when school begins. There is a limited supply of calculators that can be checked out to families in financial need and/or going through financial hardships.
Will I be able to use the calculator on the ACT or SAT?
- ACT Testing: ACT does not allow the TI – 89 or TI – Inspire CAS. The TI- 83 or TI-84 series are acceptable. For more details use this link: http://www.actstudent.org/faq/calculator.html
- SAT Testing: Use this link for more information: http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/calculator-policy
Additional questions can by asked to your math teacher once shcool begins.