Following a tough and quick no-calculator math section, SAT testers hunker down for their last multiple choice section: SAT math with calculator. For many students, this brings a sigh of relief, and we can’t blame them (I mean, who really wants to do arithmetic by hand anymore?). But to reap the benefits of the SAT calculator section, you need to make sure you bring a calculator that is allowed. Read on for everything you need to know about SAT approved calculators.
Which calculators make the SAT approved calculators list?
The good news is that most students already have one of the allowed calculators on the SAT. Many even use one of our recommended calculators in their math classes at school. It never hurts to check though, so make sure you’re prepared.
Most graphing calculators, all scientific calculators, and all four-function calculators are permitted on the SAT.
If that describes your calculation machine, you’re probably all set. But just in case, here’s the list of things that aren’t allowed:
- No smart phones, tablets, laptops, smart watches, etc.
- This should hopefully be obvious. Anything that can access the internet and/or has camera/video capabilities isn’t permitted. Otherwise, cheating would just be too easy. (For legal purposes, I am required to make it clear that we absolutely do not condone or encourage cheating. It was a joke, people.)
- No calculators with a QWERTY keyboard
- No calculators that make noise
- No calculators that need to be plugged into an electrical outlet
- If your calculator charges by being plugged into an outlet, that’s ok! You just won’t be allowed to charge it while you’re in the test room, so make sure you charge it the night before.
- No stylus usage
- Some touch screen calculators are not allowed
You can visit the College Board website for the full list of SAT approved calculators and restrictions.
The calculators we recommend for the SAT
The most important thing isn’t how fancy your calculator is or how many capabilities it has. The most important thing is that you know how to use your calculator to do what you need to do. That being said, we recommend using a graphing calculator on the SAT, given you have access to one and know how to use it. Click here for tips, tricks, musts, and it’s-better-nots when it comes to SAT calculator usage. (Include link to currently unwritten calculator usage blog post.)
The graphing calculators we find most common for the SAT are the TI-84 and the TI-Nspire, but other brands work just as well.
If you don’t already use a graphing calculator for school but could get access to one for the SAT, we recommend that you do. If you’re only comfortable using a scientific calculator, it’s not the end of the world, but a graphing calculator does make many questions much simpler.
I’ve got my SAT approved calculator; now what?
Now that you know all about allowed calculators on the SAT, find out more about SAT math calculator usage here. If you’re looking for more help on the SAT, check out our self-directed and one-on-one SAT prep options today!