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 February 28, 2015.
  • 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$44.004.527
*CasioFX-9750GPLUS$35.00$10.894.527
CasioFX-9860GSLIM$84.994.09
*CasioFX-9860GII$54.99$56.994.559
*CasioFX-CG10$84.99$64.994.591
CasioFX 2.0$99.98$56.054.022
*CasioFX9750GII$35.99$29.954.5105
*Hewlett Packard39GS$33.99$32.994.036
*Hewlett PackardHP50G$70.00$69.904.5441
*Texas InstrumentsTINSPIRECXCASFF$140.134.5586
*Texas InstrumentsTI-86$199.99$32.994.0106
*Texas InstrumentsTI89$150.00$46.994.5233
*Texas InstrumentsTI83PLUSSILVER$115.00$48.954.5113
*Texas InstrumentsTI89 TITANIUM$126.00$75.494.5539
*Texas InstrumentsTI-84 PLUS SILV$139.99$62.994.5505
*Texas Instruments84PLSE/CLM/ILI/E$139.99$79.994.588
*Texas InstrumentsNSCAS/PWB/1L1$83.95$18.474.0124
Texas InstrumentsNS/CLM/1L1/B$109.99$24.054.068
*Texas Instruments84PLSE/TBL/1L1/D$140.00$75.004.576
*Texas InstrumentsN2/CLM/1L1$119.00$24.994.5127
*Texas Instruments84PL/TBL/1L1$92.90$62.994.5785
*Texas InstrumentsN3/GC/1L1/B$123.51$62.954.0132
*Texas Instruments83PL/TBL/1L1$83.75$39.954.0913

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 February 28, 2015.

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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