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 February 24, 2020.
  • User rating: From 1 (unacceptable) to 5 (excellent).

Evaluation findings are summarized below.

MakeModelNew
price
Used
price
User
rating
Num
raters
CasioFX-9750GPLUS$24.993.538
CasioFX 2.0$55.004.022
CasioCFX-9850GC PLUS$299.95$24.993.539
CasioFX9750GII$39.49$19.994.5655
CasioFX-9860GII$66.81$47.954.6254
Hewlett Packard39G+$35.004.05
Hewlett PackardHP50G$459.99$124.984.5871
Texas InstrumentsN3CAS/CLM/2L1$212.99$91.554.62006
Texas InstrumentsFBA_84PLCE/TBL/1L1/W$127.00$114.944.813
Texas InstrumentsTI84PLSCELIGHTNTI84PLSCELIGHTN$129.95$113.994.476
Texas Instruments84PL/PWB/2L1/A$94.99$57.994.53908
Texas Instruments84PLCE/TBL/1L1/AH$99.00$92.994.51448
Texas Instruments83PL/TBL/1L1$69.97$29.994.02112
Texas InstrumentsTI83PLUSSILVER$189.99$30.553.9214
Texas InstrumentsTI89 TITANIUM$99.95$50.004.31030
Texas InstrumentsTI-84 PLUS SILV$319.99$32.554.0871
Texas Instruments84PLSE/CLM/ILI/E$198.00$55.004.0139
Texas InstrumentsNSCAS/PWB/1L1$199.99$19.554.3188
Texas InstrumentsNS/CLM/1L1/B$169.99$19.553.9162
Texas Instruments84PLSE/TBL/1L1/D$249.99$57.254.2150
Texas InstrumentsN2/CLM/1L1$162.43$27.604.1186
Texas InstrumentsN3/TBL/1L1/J$124.98$73.014.3854
Texas InstrumentsTINSPIRECXCASFF$135.00$113.844.5427

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 February 24, 2020.

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 NSCAS/PWB/1L1, or the NS/CLM/1L1/B.
  • 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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