Find the Right Calculator: AP Statistics

Students are expected to bring a graphing calculator to the AP Statistics Exam and to the AP Calculus Exam. These calculators should have specific computational capabilities. The College Board has prepared a list of calculators that have all of the capabilities needed for both exams.

AP Calculator Review

We found many of the AP-approved calculators at Amazon.com, and evaluated each on the following criteria.

  • Price: The price of a new or used calculator, as of October 22, 2014.
  • User rating: From 1 (unacceptable) to 5 (excellent).

Evaluation findings are summarized below.

Best
buys
MakeModelNew priceUsed priceUser
rating
Number
of
raters
*CasioCFX-9850GC PLUS$119.99$44.454.527
*CasioFX-CG10$85.00$70.994.591
*CasioFX-9860GIIToo low to display4.559
*CasioFX-9750GPLUS$29.99$13.854.527
CasioFX 2.0$57.004.022
*CasioFX9750GII$36.00$29.954.5105
Hewlett Packard39GS$31.99$29.994.036
*Hewlett PackardHP50GToo low to display$62.994.5441
*Texas InstrumentsN3/GC/1L1/B$110.00$59.994.0132
*Texas InstrumentsTINSPIRECXCASFF$136.844.5586
*Texas InstrumentsTI-86$29.994.0106
*Texas InstrumentsTI89$179.99$40.944.5233
*Texas Instruments83PL/TBL/1L1$81.70$39.004.0913
*Texas InstrumentsTI83PLUSSILVER$189.99$48.974.5113
*Texas InstrumentsTI89 TITANIUM$134.95$74.954.5539
*Texas InstrumentsTI-84 PLUS SILV$127.81$64.774.5505
*Texas InstrumentsNSCAS/PWB/1L1$75.00$18.484.0124
*Texas InstrumentsN2/CLM/1L1$150.00$39.994.5127
Texas InstrumentsNS/CLM/1L1/B$75.00$49.954.068
*Texas Instruments84PL/TBL/1L1$94.55$74.954.5785
*Texas Instruments84PLSE/CLM/ILI/E$124.49$93.894.588
*Texas Instruments84PLSE/TBL/1L1/D$143.99$80.004.576

We only reported results for calculators that were highly rated by students (i.e., calculators that received a satisfaction rating of at least 4 on a 5-point scale). Prices are current, as of October 22, 2014.

Recommendations

The best calculator for you depends on your personal needs. Here are some things to consider.

One More Thing . . .

It is important for each student to bring an AP-approved graphing calculator to the exam. Here's why.

  • The test developers assume that students will have an approved calculator. Students without a calculator will be at a disadvantage.

  • Non-graphing scientific calculators, portable computers, and devices with QWERTY keyboards (e.g., TI-92 plus, TI-Voyage 200) are not permitted. Proctors will check calculators before the exam.

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