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Is your calculator helping you?

Students are allowed to bring very sophisticated calculators to the SAT exam. The only restrictions (beyond being cell phones) are that they do not have alphabetical keyboards and they cannot do algebraic equations. But is the sophistication of the calculator an aid in scoring well on the SAT Math section or are these high powered graphing calculators just another distraction? The answer boils down to two principles: (1.) Nearly all the math questions can be answered without a calculator, and for those questions where a calculator would be handy a simple 4-function calculators is usually sufficient. (2.) You should always use the calculator with which you are most comfortable and this could very well be that graphing calculator you use for Algebra II or Pre-calc. That said, it is probably fine to take you graphic calculator, but don’t expect to use much more than add, subtract, multiply & divide, and perhaps occasionally a square root. Inputting tables of data... read more

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