Which TI Calculator for the SAT® and Why?
TI Calculators Allowed on the SAT®
Just about every TI calculator is approved for use on the calculator portion of the SAT® exam.
Here is the list from the SAT® calculator policy:
 TI73 Explorer™ graphing calculator
 TI80 graphing calculator
 TI81 graphing calculator
 TI82 graphing calculator
 TI83 graphing calculator and TI83 Plus
graphing calculator
 TI83 Plus Silver Edition graphing calculator
 TI84 Plus graphing calculator and TI84 Plus
T graphing calculator
 TI84 Plus CE graphing calculator and TI84
Plus CET graphing calculator
 TI84 Plus Silver Edition graphing calculator
 TI84 Plus C Silver Edition graphing
calculator
 TI85 graphing calculator
 TI86 graphing calculator
 TI89 graphing calculator (this is a CAS
calculator)
 TI89 Titanium graphing calculator (this is a CAS
calculator)
 TINspire™ graphing calculator and TINspire™
CX graphing calculator
 TINspire™ CAS graphing calculator and TINspire™ CX CAS graphing calculator
Did you notice that superpowerful CAS (stands for Computer Algebra System) calculators are allowed? In addition to finding numeric answers, a CAS calculator provides algebraic answers in simplest form and can perform calculus commands, such as integrals and derivatives.
Which Calculators are
Not Allowed?
The SAT® policy also lists functionality that is not permitted on the exam, including:
 Models that can access the Internet, have
wireless, Bluetooth, cellular, audio/video recording and playing, camera
or any other smartphone type feature
 Models that have a typewriterlike keyboard,
pen input or stylus (more on this below)
 Models that use electrical outlets,
make noise or have a paper tape (The very first TI calculator, TI2500 Datamath, was a plugin model that could add,
subtract, multiply and divide — all for the low retail price of $149.95 in
1972. Adjusting for inflation, that is a cost of more than $900 in 2018.)
The TI92 graphing calculator is the only TI model I've ever used in the classroom that is not allowed on the calculator portion of the SAT®. Why? It has a QWERTY (typewriterlike) keyboard. This behemoth of a calculator weighed in at 17.9 ounces compared to the TI84 Plus CE calculator that weighs a measly 7.1 ounces (including the cover). Interestingly, the TINspire™ CX CAS model is a more powerful calculator and is allowed on the calculator portion of the SAT®.
The SAT® has Two Math
Sections: No Calculator Section (20 questions) and Calculator Section (38
questions)
If you haven’t seen the SAT® since it was redesigned in the spring of 2016, you may not have realized that for about onethird of the math portion of the SAT® a calculator of any kind is prohibited. I think this is why they allow CAS calculators on approximately twothirds of the test. The College Board knows that students need to be able to do mathematics with and without a calculator if they want to have the highest scores.
Summary Chart
TI provides a nice chart that summarizes which calculators are allowed on standardized tests.
Need a new Graphing Calculator? Find where to buy here.
Related Blogs Six tips for using the TI84 Plus CE on the SAT®
 Exam Resources from TI
 Which TI Calculator for the ACT® and Why?
 Top 10 Features of TI84 Plus for Taking the ACT®
*SAT and AP are registered trademarks of the College Entrance
Examination Board. PSAT/NMSQT is a registered trademark of the College Entrance
Examination Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation. ACT is a registered
trademark of ACT, Inc. IB is a registered trademark of the International
Baccalaureate Organization. None were involved in the production of, nor do
they endorse these products. Policies subject to change. Visit
www.collegeboard.com and www.act.org.
About The Author: Jeff McCalla, author of “TI84 Plus Graphing Calculator for Dummies,” 2nd ed. (Wiley, 2013) and “TINspire for Dummies,” 2nd ed. (Wiley, 2011), teaches math at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, TN. Jeff received the Presidential Award of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @jmccalla1.
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