Many high school juniors and seniors are spending this summer preparing for the SAT and beginning their college admissions process.
One of the many questions students may have is…
Which calculators am I allowed to use on the SAT?
To help make your preparation that much easier, here are the three main calculator types, how they work, and a few brand suggestions as well!
Four-function calculators perform the four basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
These calculators will usually have the ability to calculate square roots and percents as well.
Here is a list of four-function calculators you can get:
These calculators have the same basic functionality and can save you time on basic operations, especially when you want to double-check your multiplication on an SAT problem.
But other calculators have a more diverse range of abilities that can truly help you perform better on the SAT, which brings us to the next type of calculator allowed on the SAT.
Scientific calculators do everything a four-function calculator can and more! You can do more advanced calculations like evaluating fractions, calculating trigonometric functions (sin, cos, and tan), calculating logs, and more!
Here is a list of scientific calculators you can get:
These calculators perform the same functions of a four-function calculator and more! In addition to the basic operations, you can now perform trig functions (Sin, Cos, and Tan), different roots (Other than the basic square root), simplifying fractions, and more!
This is definitely a great calculator companion for the SAT as it can make evaluating operations faster and checking answers easier! But there is one more step up from this type of calculator before you make your decision, and that is…
So graphing calculators have all the capabilities of four-function and scientific calculators but obviously, based on the name, come with a graphing feature. This graphing feature even allows you to graph different types of functions and with a bigger, you can see functions clearer.
Here are a few of my favorites:
So, which one should you choose??? 😱
The truth of the matter is that it is not really about the calculator you choose, it’s about if you know how to use it and how to use it effectively and efficiently during the test!
Personally, I recommend either a scientific calculator or a graphing calculator. Four functions calculators are helpful but they will not improve your speed on the test due to their basic functionality. Scientific and graphing calculators can easily simplify fractions, calculate trig functions, and many other time-saving features as well!
Just make sure you know how to use the functions on your calculator easily, so you don’t get bogged down on how to use it while testing!
Happy Testing! 😄 📝
Asia Small | CEO of The Purpose of Prep LLC
P.P.S. Don’t forget to have fresh batteries on test day!