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 December 9, 2018.
  • User rating: From 1 (unacceptable) to 5 (excellent).

Evaluation findings are summarized below.

MakeModelNew
price
Used
price
User
rating
Num
raters
CasioFX9750GII$43.99$38.914.5655
CasioFX-CG10$88.99$70.854.5218
CasioCFX-9850GC PLUS$299.953.539
CasioFX-9860GII$74.99$54.994.6254
Hewlett PackardF2226A$66.753.531
Hewlett PackardHP50G$349.95$99.994.5871
Texas InstrumentsTI84PLSCELIGHTNTI84PLSCELIGHTN$144.89$129.364.476
Texas Instruments84PL/PWB/2L1/A$98.00$69.944.53908
Texas InstrumentsTI-84$116.99$104.994.51448
Texas Instruments83PL/TBL/1L1$83.45$34.894.02112
Texas InstrumentsTI83PLUSSILVER$199.99$36.993.9214
Texas InstrumentsTI89 TITANIUM$122.99$49.994.31030
Texas InstrumentsNS/CLM/1L1/B$219.99$43.893.9162
Texas InstrumentsN2/CLM/1L1$94.98$43.514.1186
Texas InstrumentsTINSPIRECXCASFF$137.46$124.564.5427
Texas InstrumentsN3CAS/CLM/2L1Too low to display$109.474.62006
Texas Instruments84PLSE/TBL/1L1/D$249.89$72.944.2150
Texas InstrumentsN3/GC/1L1/B$122.70$92.194.3854
Texas InstrumentsNSCAS/PWB/1L1$219.99$29.994.3188
Texas Instruments84PLSE/CLM/ILI/E$288.99$59.994.0139
Texas InstrumentsFBA_84PLCE/TBL/1L1/W$141.95$140.394.813
Texas InstrumentsTI-84 PLUS SILV$154.25$33.394.0871

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 December 9, 2018.

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.
  • 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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