Find the Right Calculator

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 September 21, 2019.
  • User rating: From 1 (unacceptable) to 5 (excellent).

Evaluation findings are summarized below.

MakeModelNew
price
Used
price
User
rating
Num
raters
CasioFX-9750GPLUS$15.003.538
CasioFX 2.0$89.99$99.994.022
CasioCFX-9850GC PLUS$299.95$17.993.539
CasioFX9750GII$36.95$24.994.5655
CasioFX-9860GII$62.50$46.884.6254
Hewlett Packard39G+$41.684.05
Hewlett PackardHP50G$389.99$112.754.5871
Texas InstrumentsN3CAS/CLM/2L1$125.00$136.044.62006
Texas InstrumentsFBA_84PLCE/TBL/1L1/W$127.30$119.954.813
Texas InstrumentsTI84PLSCELIGHTNTI84PLSCELIGHTN$124.99$120.004.476
Texas Instruments84PL/PWB/2L1/A$94.99$69.994.53908
Texas Instruments84PLCE/TBL/1L1/AH$107.99$69.994.51448
Texas Instruments83PL/TBL/1L1Too low to display$32.994.02112
Texas InstrumentsTI83PLUSSILVER$164.99$28.553.9214
Texas InstrumentsTI-84 PLUS SILV$263.99$45.994.0871
Texas InstrumentsNSCAS/PWB/1L1$299.99$19.554.3188
Texas InstrumentsNS/CLM/1L1/B$180.00$29.553.9162
Texas InstrumentsN2/CLM/1L1$170.00$57.954.1186
Texas InstrumentsTINSPIRECXCASFF$192.99$168.884.5427
Texas InstrumentsN3/TBL/1L1/J$166.99$117.004.3854
Texas InstrumentsTI89 TITANIUM$108.95$47.914.31030
Texas Instruments84PLSE/TBL/1L1/D$199.89$65.004.2150
Texas Instruments84PLSE/CLM/ILI/E$199.00$68.994.0139

We only reported results for calculators that received reasonably acceptable ratings from students (i.e., calculators that received a satisfaction rating of at least 3.5 on a 5-point scale). Prices are current, as of September 21, 2019.

Recommendations

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

  • Cost. If you want a new calculator at a low price, choose the FX9750GII. If you want a used calculator at a low price, choose the FX-9750GPLUS.
  • User satisfaction. The highest rated calculator was the FBA_84PLCE/TBL/1L1/W, with a satisfaction rating of 4.8.
  • Peace of mind. If you are looking for a calculator with a favorable satisfaction score based on ratings from a large number of users, consider the FX-9860GII or the N3CAS/CLM/2L1. Both calculators received a satisfaction score of 4.6, based on ratings from at least 100 users.

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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