9 Best Calculators For SAT Test 2020:
Top Picks & Reviews

TI 84

TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator

TI-89 Titanium Graphing

TI-89 Titanium Graphing Calculator

TI-Nspire CX CAS

TI-89 Titanium Graphing Calculator

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Some math questions on the SAT just can’t be solved mentally. That is why the Math section is divided into two parts: with a calculator and without. 

Can you use a calculator on the SAT? Of course, you can. However, not every single calculator available in the market is allowed on the SAT. 

What calculator can you use on SAT? The College Board has an official list of SAT approved calculators (1). There, you can check out what calculator brands and models are allowed to be used in taking the SAT. 

Since your calculator is a crucial device for you in taking the SAT, today we list down the 9 best calculators that you can use for the test. We will look closely at each calculator’s features, ease of use, and value for money. 

By the end of this article, you will be able to know what calculator suits you best and will be helpful for you in answering the Math section. Let’s get right into it.

9 Best Calculators For SAT Test 2020

1. TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator

TI 84

Key Features:

  • Decimal to fraction conversion
  • MathPrint function
  • Vertical and horizontal split-screen options

This calculator by Texas Instruments is one of the most, if not the most, popular calculators in the country. Its developer, Texas Instruments has remained one of the top brands for calculators for years. With the TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator, it is not difficult to see why. 

Is TI-84 Plus allowed on SAT? It’s not just allowed, it is also one of the most recommended devices you can use for the test. One of the reasons why this SAT calculator is considered one of the best is that it has all the features that you would need for the SAT. Plus, its price is fair. It’s not the cheapest and not the most expensive either. 

As mentioned, it has everything that you would need for the SAT: graphing functions, matrix operations, function analysis, and many more. You can use this calculator for topics ranging from pre-algebra to AP calculus. You can check out its full specs on TI’s official website (2). 

What makes this SAT calculator unique is the horizontal and vertical split-screen options, which allows you to view necessary values and information without scrolling around. 

Another great feature of this calculator is that it can convert decimals into fractions, which will save you a lot of time on the test. 

The TI-84 is one of the most commonly-used calculators by high-school students. It is so popular that some schools even teach their usage and functions.

Since it does not have a colored display, it is cheaper than more modern calculators. You can get this calculator for about $60.

2. TI-89 Titanium Graphing Calculator

TI-89 Titanium Graphing

Key Features:

  • CAS functionality
  • Ease-of-use
  • USB computer and unit-to-unit cable
  • Hard material slide case

The next SAT calculator on our list is also from Texas Instruments. The TI-89 Graphing calculator is one of the most dependable and well-known graphing calculators for SAT takers. 

Can you use a TI-89 on the SAT? Yes, you can. Like most calculators on this list, it has all the functions that you need to answer the SAT’s Math section. The upside? It is more durable and easier to use. It has a CAS functionality, which allows the user to perform algebraic and statistical functions easier. 

Ease-of-use is something that comes with this calculator. Unlike other SAT permitted calculators, the advanced functions in the TI-89 are can be performed with just a click. You will not have to memorize certain combinations and procedures to perform complex functions. It comes with a USB technology, so you can easily connect it with a computer or even other units. 

The TI-89 is a very durable calculator. It is the type of calculator that you can use for a long period. It also comes with a hard material slide case for protection purposes.

Overall, this is a great SAT calculator. It is something that you should consider if you want to use an efficient and durable calculator for the test. Prices vary, but this is slightly more expensive than the TI-84. However, both have everything you will need for the SAT.

3. TI-Nspire CX CAS

TI-Nspire CX CAS

Key Features:

  • Backlit color display
  • CAS functionality
  • Slim and modern design

From popular calculators, let’s check out one of the newest calculators in the market. By just looking at the TI-Nspire CX CAS, you can already tell why it is one of the best. It is slim, sleek, and has a modern design. 

This SAT calculator is not just about having a good design. Its features are also advanced. This calculator is one of the few out there that does not need battery replacement because it is rechargeable. Plus, its battery life is impressive and can last up to two weeks. 

Unlike the first two calculators on this list, this calculator has a color display, so you can use it even in a dark environment. It also has a CAS functionality, which means you can solve and analyze algebraic expressions a lot easier. 

One of the most impressive things about this calculator is the design of its drop-down menu. The way you navigate through the menu is as if you are using a real computer. You can save, store, and edit your work just like documents on your desktop. 

Nspire seriesThis calculator from the Nspire series of Texas Instruments is definitely one of the most advanced and modern SAT approved calculators. The downside? It’s a bit expensive. Its price is almost twice as the first two calculators on this list. However, it is a good investment if you want an advanced calculator that will not just make your life easier on the SAT but will be helpful to you in your professional career.

4. Casio fx-9750GII Graphing Calculator

Casio fx-9750GII

Key Features:

  • 200+ hours of battery life
  • Built-in graphing of conic sections
  • Interactive equation solver

The next one on our SAT calculator list is developed by Casio. Throughout the years, Casio has been one of the most preferred brands for calculators, and the Casio fx-9750GII did not disappoint. 

One of the reasons why this SAT graphing calculator is one of the most popular is its price. For an average price, you can get a calculator that has all the things that you would need for the Math section of the SAT. 

It has an LCD and an icon-based menu for easier navigation. For its price, this calculator processes graphs and analyses pretty quickly, which will be advantageous for you in taking the SAT. 

The graphing function is user-friendly. You just have to input the functions in a list, press F6, and the graphs will be drawn. The table application also runs smoothly. On the screen, you will be able to see three functions without scrolling. 

This SAT calculator uses 4 AAA batteries, which is a bit old school. Also, the way the values are presented in this calculator is not like how values are presented in textbooks, which might be inconvenient for some. 

The Casio fx-9750GII is a good entry-level graphing calculator. As mentioned, its best upside is that it is affordable. It may not be as advanced as other SAT test approved calculators, but it will be useful for you on the SAT. It also comes in three colors: blue, white, and pink.

5. Casio Prizm FX-CG50 Graphing Calculator

Casio Prizm FX-CG50

Key Features:

  • Color graphing
  • Can graph 3D shapes
  • Natural textbook display

The next SAT calculator on our list is also from Casio. The Prizm FX-CG50 is one of the most advanced SAT test permitted calculators. In terms of display quality, this one is top-tier. It uses over 65,000 colors and is capable of drawing 3D graphs (3). 

This calculator’s interface is easy to use and straightforward. Since it is colored, you will easily see the applications you need on the menu. 

Another impressive thing about this calculator is the way expressions and values are printed. It prints values the way you see them in textbooks. Unlike older calculators, it uses fraction bars instead of just “/”. Exponents and subscripts are easily seen because they are smaller in size compared to the base number or variable. 

graphing functionThe graphing function is great. Although it can use more than 65,000 colors, you can graph lines only in 5 different colors. Still, having your graphs colored is a huge upside. You can also choose the type of lines you want to use. Plus, it can graph 3D shapes.

Its external design is modern and appealing. Its front panel has a carbon fiber pattern, which makes it more durable and aesthetically pleasing. Additional protection is also provided with a case slide.

Since it has a backlit color display, it’s more expensive than most SAT test approved calculators. If you are looking for a great calculator that you can use even after taking the SAT, this should be one of your options.

6. TI-34 MultiView Scientific Calculator

TI-34 MultiView

Key features:

  • Four-line display
  • MathPrint functionality
  • Scientific notation output

Texas Instruments gets back to the list with the TI-34 MultiView Scientific Calculator. Although not as advanced as other calculators on this list, it is a huge upgrade from the basic scientific calculator. 

It has a four-line display, which allows you to input more than one calculation. This calculator has a MathPrint functionality, which means the way values and expressions are printed are similar to the ones you see in textbooks. It also has a scientific notation output, which shows values in scientific notation with corresponding exponents. 

It has a little solar panel that automatically recharges the battery, so you will not have to replace the battery more often. It comes with a slide case for body and screen protection.

This calculator is not the most modern out there. It does not have the best design either. What made it a part of this list is its affordability. This calculator is much cheaper than most calculators from Texas Instruments. At a much lower price, it features basic functions that you will need in taking the SAT.

7. Casio fx-115ES PLUS

Casio fx-115ES PLUS

Key Features:

  • Natural textbook display
  • Multi-replay function
  • List-based STAT data editor

This calculator by Casio is affordable and reliable. What sets the fx-115ES plus apart from other calculators is its ease-of-use and the number of functions it has. One big difference between this calculator from other calculators on this list is that it does not have a graphing function.

An impressive feature of this calculator is the NATURAL-V.P.A.M. or Virtually Perfect Algebraic Method. Just like MathPrint, this feature allows you to view expressions and values like they are presented in textbooks. 

Also, this calculator shows answers in a variety of forms. Want to see the answer in radical form? This calculator can give you that. Want to see the decimal form? You can easily do that. Switching from one form to another is just a click away, all you need to do is click the “S-D” button.

Just like other SAT permitted calculators, this has a table and simultaneous equations function. It can also analyze statistical data and has a multi-replay function where you can go back to the previous steps of your solution.

Indeed, the Casio fx-115ES PLUS is a reliable calculator for taking the SAT. Plus, its price is relatively low compared to other calculators in the market.

8. Casio fx-9860GII

Casio fx-9860GII

Key Features:

  • Icon-based menu
  • Fast graphing
  • Backlight option for LCD screen

Another good permitted calculator for SAT test is Casio fx-9860GII. This calculator has everything that would need to answer questions on the Math section of the SAT. With a relatively low price, you can get the basics of a graphing calculator. 

The user interface of this calculator is not that different from the ones on Casio scientific calculators. It is easy to use, and the drawing of graphs processes pretty quickly. This also has an LCD screen with a backlight option. You can turn on the backlight for better viewing, especially in dark environments.

It’s almost like the fx-115ES Plus, except that it has a graphing function. The size and thickness of this calculator are quite big, however, it is very durable, just like any other Casio calculator. 

If you want an upgrade from the fx-115ES Plus, you can consider getting this model. You will have to pay more for this one, although getting both calculators will be helpful to you during the SAT.

9. TI-73 Explorer Graphing Calculator

TI-73 Explorer Graphing

Key Features:

  • Large display screen
  • 14-digit accuracy 
  • Easy-to-use keyboard

Concluding our list of the best SAT approved calculators is Texas Instruments’ TI-73 Explorer. This calculator is one of the oldest models on this list. However, it has proven to be a reliable calculator throughout the years. It is not only one of the oldest, but it is also one of the cheapest.

Since it is an old model, it is not as advanced as other TI calculators on this list. However, it still has what most graphing calculators today have to offer. It has less RAM than other TI calculators, but it will do the basics for you. 

The main reason why the TI-73 Explorer is included in this list is its price. With its price, you will not have to break the bank to get basic functionalities that you will need in taking the SAT.

Wrapping up

There you have it, the 9 best SAT permitted calculators. These calculators were chosen based on functionality, features, and price. Your calculator will be a crucial part of the SAT, that’s why you need to choose the one that suits you best. 

Take note, though, that having a more advanced calculator is not a guarantee that you will get a high score on the SAT. Your score will still heavily depend on the understanding of concepts and having the right strategy. Check out the best SAT prep course online to help you prepare for the SAT.

Moreover, mastering the usage of your calculator will play a major role in taking the test. Good luck!


Best Overall

TI 84

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