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Should I get a graphing calculator just to leave it at home?

  1. Nov 18, 2011 #1
    In maths in school we are starting to do a lot of problems involving integral and differential calculus as well as general algebra. The problem is while I can see the correct method of going about obtaining a solution it takes me a long time to get there as the integration and stuff takes up time and I'm not getting marks for it!

    I'm not allowed to use a graphic calculator in one of my exams, mechanics. So our teacher doesn't like them in her class. Should I get one anyway and use it at home and for the parts I can use it?

    The other thing is that I want to do maths next year and do engineering at uni so I would need one then.

    Thanks
    AL
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2011 #2

    AlephZero

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    Obviously they are good for drawing graphs from "formulas", but IMO they are not really much use in more advanced work. You would be better in the long term learning how to sketch the graphs by hand.

    If you are getting the right answers but taking too much time to solve the problems, most likely what you need is lots and lots of practice. Think about what parts of the complete solution are taking most of the time, and concentrate on practicing just that part - don't waste time doing the stuff that you are already good at!
     
  4. Nov 19, 2011 #3
    If you are only going to be using it at home then I think a much better option is Wolfram Alpha. It has the advantages of being, free, available anywhere there is internet access, easy to use, and more powerful than a graphing calculator.

    http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=integral+of+sin(2x)+*+x^3
     
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