Should I get a 150 dollar calculator for Physics B AP SAT Subject test?

  • #1
471
0
I'm not sure of whether or not I should waste 150 dollars to buy one of the most powerful calculators released by TI, the Ti-89 titanium. For all of you who own one or knows someone who does, how is it?? Right now I have a Ti-84, but I don't think it is as efficient as a Ti-89.. And yes, Ti-89s are allowed for the SAT Is, IIs, and most of the other tests. So, what will it be? Should I get one or not?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
cristo
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
8,107
73
In my opinion, if you already have a working graphic calculator, then there doesn't seem much point in going out and spending lots of money on a new one!
 
  • #3
1,860
0
For anything you would be doing on the AP test, any standard graphing calculator will work (i.e. TI-84). I don't really understand why somebody would spend 150 dollars on a graphic calculator when they could get mathematica.
 
  • #4
471
0
well the thing is, can't you store all the equations you want on the Ti-89?? One of my classmates has one and she can get the equation with a push of a button!! That means you don't need to go through the process of punching in variables/numbers one by one. You can go straight into subtituting the numbers with its appropriate variable. Also, I've heard that the Ti-89 will solve the equation for you. You don't need to do any work! Hmm I guess that wont work on the Free Response section because don't you need to show all your work? But it will certainly help in verifying your answer to see if it is right or wrong.
 
  • #5
redribbbon
The main thing is that you have to know your physics

whether you use of an 83 or 89 doesnt really matter

(i used an 83 and got a 4)
and im not sure if 89 is allowed
 
  • #6
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,226
36
If the TI-89 is permitted on the SATs, then you can rest assured that it will not give you any measurable advantage. You're not going to be able to get a good grade on the SAT by dint of your calculator alone, without doing any work or knowing anything. Keep in mind that many tests (I'm not sure about the SATs; check with youe teacher) require that the proctor clear the memory of any calculator used during the test. This prevents people from entering programs or equations into their calculators -- a practice which is called cheating.

- Warren
 
  • #7
1,860
0
well the thing is, can't you store all the equations you want on the Ti-89?? One of my classmates has one and she can get the equation with a push of a button!! That means you don't need to go through the process of punching in variables/numbers one by one. You can go straight into subtituting the numbers with its appropriate variable. Also, I've heard that the Ti-89 will solve the equation for you. You don't need to do any work! Hmm I guess that wont work on the Free Response section because don't you need to show all your work? But it will certainly help in verifying your answer to see if it is right or wrong.

Basically, you want the calculator to solve physics problems so you don't have to. Lame.
 
  • #8
471
0
Basically, you want the calculator to solve physics problems so you don't have to. Lame.

No I want the calculator to check my work faster. I know that you need to show all your work to get the points. It would be a fast and reliable tool to use. =] Yeah, on the Ti website, it says that the Ti-89 is allowed for all of the Sat Is and IIs. I'm pretty sure you can keep equations in the calculator right? Has anyone ever taken Sats with a Ti-89?? I mean, on the AP Physics Exam, they give you their own equation sheet right?

I'm just trying to tell people the capabilities of the calculator to support opinions on whether I should by the Ti-89 or not. I know that calculators are bad and they shouldn't be used to take over your brain. However, I just want it mainly for the graphing and other capabilities; mostly to check my answer for problems faster. Plus, my sister needs a graphing calculator and she doesn't have one. I could get a Ti-89 and give my 84 to my sister. I have two younger sisters btw.
 
Last edited:
  • #9
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,226
36
I looked up the SAT's calculator policy:

http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/testday/calc.html

Apparently they do NOT clear the calculator memory, so you could potentially store anything you could imagine in it. On the other hand, the test is designed so that students doing the problems by hand -- by thinking about them -- get higher scores than students who just blindly type things into their calculators.

Honestly, AznBoi, the easy way's not the best way. The more dependent on your calculator you allow yourself to become, the lower your score is likely to be.

- Warren
 
  • #10
682
1
it depends on how familiar you are with your calculator and your physics. For instance, if I know precisely what equations/concepts to use in a problem, I can get an answer out very fast on TI-89, since you can just visualize the equation in your head, (specially in relativity, all that square roots can be messy), then use the solve equation function in the calculator. However, If you do not know the physics, you are pretty much screwed up whether you have TI-89 or not.

The advantages I can think of about the TI-89 are:
1. It's got all the constants stored (c, h, Na, mass of electron, of proton, of neutron, ideal gas constant...) , and units conversions (ex: J to eV, miles to meters, AU to meters (this is the most frequently used function, at least for me)).

2. the algebraic system; it calculates integrals with symbols. It is a nice reference if you forget how to do an integral. Also, it factors polynomials and integers! Besides that, it has series and products so you can get some nice estimate for problems involving series or products.

3. Games. When I was in high school... boy, I gotta have my 89 around... But now that I'm in college, I've erased all my games in my calculator.

Well, basically, comparing it to a TI-84, a TI-89 is not so much of an improvement. (the 3-d graphing is junk). I would recommend you to keep using and loving the TI-84 (I think it has more memory than the TI-89... )
 
  • #12
471
0
Ok, thanks chroot and tim. It is true that 150 dollars is a lot of money. It's just that if I want to get a Ti-89, it would be best for me to obtain it now and become more comfortable using it. It would be inadequate to become familar with all of the calc's functions by buying it the week before the Sat or whatever test I will be taking. The only use that the 89 would probably bring me is the equation, conversion and "factoring" capabilities.. Haha, mabye I will be so nervous on the exams that I will forget how to factor :biggrin:
 
  • #13
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,226
36
I'm pretty sure the TI-84 has polynomial solver on it.

- Warren
 

Related Threads on Should I get a 150 dollar calculator for Physics B AP SAT Subject test?

  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
2K
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
8K
Top