Expert tips: Calculator on SAT Test Day


The SAT has two math sections- one with a calculator and another one without a calculator. While preparing for all sections of the SAT, you have to make sure that you get ready with your SAT calculator and its functions.

Get familiar with your calculator and focus on test problems with no worries. Follow these tips to avoid any calculator issues on your test day.

Get a SAT Calculator

Get your calculator on the day when you start your SAT prep. If you’re math lover, you’ll be able to solve most of the problems without a calculator, but using it will only make the process faster, easier and hence convenient. Problems on multiplication, percentages, trigonometry and other division problems will be more accurate and faster with a calculator.

Attention!! - Check the model Number

All types/models of scientific calculators are permitted on the SAT I. Most types of graphing calculators are acceptable. Calculators with Bluetooth or wireless capability are not allowed. Any device that can take pictures, record, or transmit any information are prohibited. For a complete list of approved calculators, check

Use Familiar Calculator

Calculator with numerous functions and special buttons seems tempting, but having many programs won’t make your work easier, if don’t know how to use them. Buy the one that you are familiar with – one where you know the keys, functions and other useful programs to move faster on test. Thus, buying an advanced version may not really help you if you don’t practice enough and not sure how to utilize it.

Adhere to Test Day Rules For SAT Calculators

  • You can use the calculator only on allowed Math section on the SAT and no other section.
  • You cannot share your calculator with any other test taker
  • Don’t use calculator for any communication with other test-takers.
  • Bring only permissible calculator to the test centre

Practice useful functions on SAT Calculator

Check the batteries a day before test day and make sure you have spare batteries. There are a lot of useful functions to make work easier:

Trigonometry: Sine, cosine values for few angles can be worked out very quickly with a calculator. Although basic trigonometry is tested on the SAT, but having a calculator keeps you worry free about memorizing that long list.

Graphing: Quadratic equation questions which test concepts of minimum or maximum of a function, or the zeroes, or an intercept can be solved in a fraction of seconds by simply graphing the function on calculator.

Always double check

Do not completely rely on calculators. Double check your work, use your logic to check your calculations. Say, it should be positive or negative value, is your answer matching the averaging value you could calculate in your mind. Most calculator errors are careless and can be easily identified if you take a few moments to look at the answer, and doing so can save you time and increase accuracy.


Forgot your calculator at home

Don’t panic even if you forget your calculator on the test day. Be confident and remind yourself that you’ll be just ok and you can manage all SAT math calculations by your own, it just might take few more minutes. You can still perform all calculations, score good in fact a perfect score that too without a calculator. Panicking will adversely affect not only that particular, but all the four sections.

Just be confident, prepare well for all the sections, appear for full length tests and work closely on your errors logs to score perfect SAT scores.

Good Luck!