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 October 16, 2019.
  • User rating: From 1 (unacceptable) to 5 (excellent).

Evaluation findings are summarized below.

MakeModelNew
price
Used
price
User
rating
Num
raters
CasioFX-9750GPLUS$27.783.538
CasioFX 2.0$69.99$99.994.022
CasioFX9750GII$33.95$24.484.5655
CasioCFX-9850GC PLUS$299.95$17.993.539
CasioFX-CG10$64.954.5218
CasioFX-9860GII$62.50$42.014.6254
Hewlett Packard39G+$45.004.05
Hewlett PackardHP50G$379.99$99.994.5871
Texas InstrumentsN3CAS/CLM/2L1$239.99$129.954.62006
Texas Instruments83PL/TBL/1L1Too low to display$29.644.02112
Texas InstrumentsNS/CLM/1L1/B$199.99$29.553.9162
Texas InstrumentsN2/CLM/1L1$170.00$54.494.1186
Texas InstrumentsTINSPIRECXCASFF$179.99$119.444.5427
Texas InstrumentsTI84PLSCELIGHTNTI84PLSCELIGHTN$129.954.476
Texas InstrumentsNSCAS/PWB/1L1$249.99$19.554.3188
Texas InstrumentsTI89 TITANIUM$89.99$44.984.31030
Texas Instruments84PLSE/CLM/ILI/E$259.95$63.994.0139
Texas InstrumentsFBA_84PLCE/TBL/1L1/W$125.99$119.954.813
Texas InstrumentsTI-84 PLUS SILV$329.99$26.004.0871
Texas Instruments84PLCE/TBL/1L1/AH$110.00$86.214.51448
Texas InstrumentsTI83PLUSSILVER$189.99$21.993.9214
Texas Instruments84PLSE/TBL/1L1/D$199.89$60.954.2150

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 October 16, 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 CFX-9850GC PLUS.
  • 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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