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 August 29, 2014.
  • User rating: From 1 (unacceptable) to 5 (excellent).

Evaluation findings are summarized below.

Best
buys
MakeModelNew priceUsed priceUser
rating
Number
of
raters
CasioFX-9860GSLIM$150.004.09
*CasioFX-9860GIIToo low to display$55.494.559
CasioFX 2.0$79.99$60.004.022
*CasioFX-CG10$91.95$70.994.591
*CasioCFX-9850GC PLUS$65.004.527
*CasioFX-9750GPLUS$69.99$11.994.527
*CasioFX9750GII$44.99$33.244.5105
*Hewlett PackardHP50GToo low to display$49.004.5441
*Hewlett Packard39GS$39.98$28.774.036
*Texas InstrumentsN3/GC/1L1/B$108.99$47.004.0132
*Texas InstrumentsTINSPIRECXCASFF$140.344.5586
*Texas InstrumentsTI-86$149.00$34.954.0106
*Texas Instruments84PL/TBL/1L1$94.00$75.994.5785
*Texas InstrumentsTI-84 PLUS SILV$171.43$66.894.5505
*Texas InstrumentsNSCAS/PWB/1L1$19.004.0124
*Texas Instruments84PLSE/TBL/1L1/D$113.95$91.944.576
*Texas InstrumentsTI83PLUSSILVER$167.95$54.754.5113
*Texas Instruments83PL/TBL/1L1$88.00$46.994.0913
*Texas InstrumentsTI89$192.99$51.894.5233
*Texas Instruments33317203956$124.95$67.754.539
*Texas InstrumentsN2/CLM/1L1$179.00$49.424.5127
*Texas InstrumentsTI89 TITANIUM$135.00$79.954.5539
*Texas Instruments84PLSE/CLM/ILI/E$119.99$87.594.588
Texas InstrumentsNS/CLM/1L1/B$199.99$60.004.068

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 August 29, 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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