# What is the best calculator?

• Calculators
I am currently a junior in high school. I have a TI-84 plus silver edition. My parents are letting me give my old calculator, the TI-84, to my sister and let me buy a new calculator. What would be the best calculator to get? I am planning to be an engineer and need a calculator that is approved on standardized tests.

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ideasrule
Homework Helper

What do you need it for? Many tests allow only scientific calculators, not graphing ones. However, if you're planning to take calculus or statistics, you definitely need a graphing calculator. I'd say the TI-83 and TI-84 are both good because they're the most common. You definitely don't want a calculator that nobody else has, or else you'll spent all of class trying to figure it out like I did last year.

What do you need it for? Many tests allow only scientific calculators, not graphing ones. However, if you're planning to take calculus or statistics, you definitely need a graphing calculator. I'd say the TI-83 and TI-84 are both good because they're the most common. You definitely don't want a calculator that nobody else has, or else you'll spent all of class trying to figure it out like I did last year.

I'm planning to take calculus throughout high school and college. Which one did you have, TI-89?

I'm really a big fan of the under $10 solar-cell type (with trig functions). Buy a few of these, and keep them in various places around the house, in the office, etc. Of course, I'm the type to misplace such things as keys, cellphones, etc. (and drop expensive cellphones). I do still have my TI-something high-school/college calculator somewhere in my office, but it has a solvent "burn hole" from organic chem. I know at least one person online here who will likely point you to a slide rule. I'm planning to take calculus throughout high school and college. Which one did you have, TI-89? I'm a huge fan of the TI-89 for the classes that will let you use them. In general physics 1, the "solve" function on the calculator saved me from having to do the quadratic equation by hand many times, and it's a breeze to solve systems of linear equations in their matrix, and then use the rref function (reduced row echelon form). I'm a huge fan of the TI-89 for the classes that will let you use them. In general physics 1, the "solve" function on the calculator saved me from having to do the quadratic equation by hand many times, and it's a breeze to solve systems of linear equations in their matrix, and then use the rref function (reduced row echelon form). Was it difficult to use? Was it difficult to use? No, it's quite easy. The problem is, I don't know if they're allowed on standardized tests, and some classes disallow them. My first physics professor was an electrical engineer, and he said he used the TI-89 all the time in his engineering work. ideasrule Homework Helper I'm planning to take calculus throughout high school and college. Which one did you have, TI-89? I had a TI-86, and its interface is very different from that of the TI-83. I'm thinking about getting the TI-Inspire? Does anyone have it or used it before. jtbell Mentor Please note there are a lot of threads about calculators in the Computing & Technology forum, where this thread has been moved. I am currently a junior in high school. I have a TI-84 plus silver edition. My parents are letting me give my old calculator, the TI-84, to my sister and let me buy a new calculator. What would be the best calculator to get? I am planning to be an engineer and need a calculator that is approved on standardized tests. Try this **powerful** virtual calculator online: http://www.vroomlab.com/nhome on 1st page, click on the calculator image to get access without login in. it works with computer, ipad, smartphomes. I say get yourself a CASIO scientific calculator. You can use it on all the tests you need to. Graphing calculators are sweet, but in university calculus we weren't allowed to use calculators at all. but yeah, I love the CASIO. I say get yourself a CASIO scientific calculator. You can use it on all the tests you need to. Graphing calculators are sweet, but in university calculus we weren't allowed to use calculators at all. but yeah, I love the CASIO. Basic scientific calculator? That would not help me that much. turbo Gold Member Do you have a strong preference for where you will attend Uni, and for what courses you want? If so, contact the engineering school and ask for their guidelines, so you'll know what calculators are allowable for tests. Your current TI-84 might be the most advanced calculator allowed, so you wouldn't benefit from an upgrade unless the school loosened their rules. You have plenty of time... Good luck! Basic scientific calculator? That would not help me that much. I am planning to be an engineer and need a calculator that is approved on standardized tests. Those are contradictory statements then. Why don't they just let you bring in your C++ Compiler . There is nothing above a basic scientific calculator which will be allowed in any test. Graphing calculators are allowed on the SATs. Do all colleges forbid graphing calculators on tests? jhae2.718 Gold Member It depends on the school, I think. Where I am, the math and physics departments don't allow calculators of any kind (physics exams are symbolic, math exams have contrived numbers such that calculations are easy), the chemistry department only allows scientific calculators, and the engineering department allows all calculators. Where I come from; mathematics is all symbolic, no calculators; physics has some calculation involved, we are allowed a TI-30X, after, we can use whatever with some exceptions (like no calculators on tests). I'm not sure about engineering, I know in first year they use TI-30X's too, but I'm not sure of any year after. It depends on the school, I think. Where I am, the math and physics departments don't allow calculators of any kind (physics exams are symbolic, math exams have contrived numbers such that calculations are easy), the chemistry department only allows scientific calculators, and the engineering department allows all calculators. If you have a graphing calculator for a calculus test, what is the point? You can program everything you want... turbo Gold Member While it can be fun to debate the features of$100 tools, with NO insight as to the policies of the school the OP intends to attend, there is an elephant in the room.

@OP, contact the Engineering School as ask what their policies are on the use of calculators. Per course, per test, etc...

Don't throw money away buying the newest and best. When you get admitted in another year or so, you'll find out what the most current policy is. You may find out that you need to keep your TI-84 for homework only, and that you'll have to buy a more basic scientific calculator to use on class-work, quizzes, exams.

When I was admitted to UMO engineering school, NO calculators were allowed, and if students turned in homework or lab reports with levels of accuracy that were considered unachievable with a decent slide-rule, you would be invited to an interview at the dean's office. Back then a simple 4-function calculator cost as much as 1/2 a semester's tuition, and the college felt that it would be a serious handicap for poorer students. I left college and worked for a couple of years after my Junior year, and when I returned to take more courses, lo-and-behold, you were allowed to use calculators in class and on tests. Things change. Get the appropriate, approved tools and learn how to use them before you take your first class.

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jhae2.718
Gold Member

I need to get a slide rule.

@dacruik: Exactly. It's also more fun without a calculator.

turbo
Gold Member

I need to get a slide rule.

@dacruik: Exactly. It's also more fun without a calculator.
Slide rules were pretty pricey back when I was in school. I'd love to have my old K+E back if only for nostalgia. It wasn't one of the top-tier models, but it was good enough for engineering school, with all kinds of scales that saw only rare use. Still, once you get used to using one, it's hard to let them go. I had to sell mine just to try to recover some cost out of it, just like my texts.

When I went back to college for another semester of tech courses, I bought an early HP calculator (RPN of course) and got even faster than I had been with the slip-stick. The same old feeling wasn't there, though. I'd turn in exams in minutes and ace them (surveying and other civil-tech courses) and leave while the rest of the class were slaving away. The trick was learning the ins and outs of that calculator BEFORE having to use it under pressure. Actually, I'd like to have that HP-21 back almost as much as my K+E.

jhae2.718
Gold Member

We have it good nowadays, with graphing calculators, Matlab/Maple/Mathematica/etc...

It's sad that almost none of the other students in my classes knew what a slide rule was.

None of my professors have let us use ANY calculator on any math tests (so far calc I-III). For chemistry and physics, a TI-84 is more than fine. I have a TI-89 Plus SE though (\$50 from eBay) that is nice just as a time saver.

calculators of casio company are brilliant.