Author Archive: John Reuter

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What Calculators Are Allowed On The GED Test?

What Calculators Are Allowed On The GED Test?

| June 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

You have spent months, maybe years studying for the GED test and you want to make sure you are prepared and pass the test the first time around. The math portion of the test can be the hardest for many people and everyone always ask me what calculators are allowed on the GED test?

What Calculators Are Allowed on the GED Test?

Luckily the people  who issue the GED test have kept it simple and only one calculator is allowed on the GED math test, you will be using the Texas Instruments TI-30XS. Make sure you buy one in advance and practice with it a lot so that you know how to use it. You do not want to waste valuable time during the test trying to figure out how to make it work. If you do not have one you can get them really cheap here on Amazon.

On the day of the test you will not be using a physical calculator, the calculator will be displayed on your computer screen and will look and work exactly like the one you have been practicing on with all the buttons being in the exact same spot.

Good luck on your GED test!


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What is the Best Scientific Calculator?

What is the Best Scientific Calculator?

| March 15, 2014 | 0 Comments

Competition in the calculator market is heating up with makers releasing or updating several new calculators. With dozens of choices on the market, deciding what is the best scientific calculator can be overwhelming. To help you choose the scientific calculator that best fits your needs we have created this helpful chart for you or you can scroll below to see our pick of the top three best scientific calculators.

Photos
Name
Price
Our Rating
TI-36X Pro Scientific Calculator
$$4.7/5

Casio FX-115ES PLUS
$4.7/5

HP 15C Scientific Calculator
$$$$4.5/5

Casio fx-300MS
$4.5/5


Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS 2-Line Scientific Calculator
$4.3/5

Sharp Electronics EL-W516XBSL
$4.3/5


TI-30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator

$$4.2/5


Texas Instruments TI-30XA Scientific Calculator
$4.2/5

HP 35s Scientific Calculator
$$$4.1/5

Hewlett Packard 300S+ Engineering/Scientific Calculator
$$3.6/5

Our Picks for the Three Best Scientific Calculators

Best: TI-36X Pro Scientific Calculator

The TI-36X Pro is fantastic, it comes as close to perfection as we have seen. Heavy users rave about its rich features and ability to easily store previous entries in its stack making solving complex problems a snap.

Adding to the reasons that the TI-36x is the best scientific calculator is that it is virtually universally accepted by faculty and major standardized test making this the only scientific calculator you will need to buy and will want to start familiarizing yourself with it as soon as possible since odds are one day you will be forced to use for an upcoming class or test.
>>> Click here to check reviews and prices on Amazon < < <

 

Runner Up: Casio FX-115ES PLUS
With the release of the updated version of the FX-115ES the new PLUS version is a rock solid scientific calculator. Math students will appreciate that the calculator can now display repeating decimals in bar notation, PLUS users now have the ability to access previous answers, as well as solve quadratic and cubic equations, just to name a few of the vastly important improvements in this model.

If you choose this calculator we believe you will not be let down as this is a solid well rounded, fully featured graphing calculator.

>>> Click here to check reviews and prices on Amazon < < <

 
Worth Considering: HP 15C Limited Edition

Old school engineers will drool at the news that the classic HP-15C has been re-released as a special commemorative limited edition. Serious calculators are snapping these up and a hot secondary market is forming around these with prices skyrocketing on Amazon.

This calculator is a classic for a reason though, the design is nearly perfect. Users who have spent the time learning how to use the unique reverse Polish notation would never dream of switching back, and many get a kick when someone who has never used an HP calculator ask to borrow theirs and they cannot even figure out how to add 2+2 on the calculator.

If you want to win the admiration of your professor or boss, whip one of these out and watch their eyes light up.
>>> Click here to check reviews and prices on Amazon < < <

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Cheap Graphing Calculator – How To Spend Under $25

Cheap Graphing Calculator – How To Spend Under $25

| March 9, 2014 | 0 Comments


Graphing calculators prices are an anomaly in the world of consumer electronics. How is it that a smartphone can become obsolete almost as soon as it is released, but a graphing calculator invented decades ago seems to steadily increase in price year over year. It can feel criminal to be asked to pay over a hundred dollars for such a primitive device luckily there are ways to score a cheap graphing calculator.

Where to Find Cheap Graphing Calculators

#3. Thrift Stores and Garage Sales

Second hand shops and rummage sales have been great sources for me when searching for cheap graphing calculators. Unless the seller is currently in school or has a child in class they generally assume the calculators are worthless and price them accordingly. I was once able to score three mint condition TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculators for $2 each at a thrift store and they were shocked I was willing to pay them so much for such and old piece of equipment!

#2. Buy a Used Graphing Calculator Online and Trade it in Afterwards

This may seem like a no brainier but many do not realize you can buy a cheap graphing calculator calculator then trade it in afterwards, much like you do with your textbooks. When buying a used graphing calculator be sure to read the listing descriptions carefully and buy from a reputable site like Amazon. Then after your class head on over to the Trade-In Page and get most of your purchase price back. For example at the time of writing I could buy a perfect condition TI-84 Plus for $57.48 and trade it in for $32.65 bringing the cost of using a calculator down to only $24.83. Much better than paying the $100 plus for a brand new unit!

>>> Click here to check trade in prices on Amazon < < <

#3. Borrow One From a Friend or Relative

You will be surprised to find out how many graphing calculators are sitting in desk drawers never to be used again. Ask around, I bet you will be able to find someone who is not using one at the moment.

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HP Prime Graphing Calculator Review

- Product Rating -

HP Prime Graphing Calculator Review

| February 8, 2014 | 0 Comments

HP Prime Review

HP’s answer the TI Nspire CX CAS is finally here and now its time to see how this color graphing calculator stands up to the competition.

With the new HP Prime the creators set out to create a 21st century calculator that blows the competition out of the water while appealing to the widest audience possible and they have done just that!

Breaking from tradition the Prime supports both Reverse Polish Notation and algebraic notation, which opens this calculator up to a whole new generation of users who are uncomfortable using RPN.

Overview

Full color-screen, wireless connectivity, with multi-touch capability, 2300 installed functions and support for both algebraic and reverse Polish notation.

Specs

    • 256mg flash memory
    • 32mb mDDR ram
    • 400mhz ARM9 processor
    • Rechargeable lithium battery
    • USB port
    • 320×240 16 bit color touch screen

>>> Click here to see ratings, reviews, specifications and prices on Amazon < < <

 Pros

  • Speed. The 400mhz processor is blazing fast, with the calculator giving almost instantaneous results.
  • Backlit color touch screen. Navigates similar to a smart phone. No more time consuming scrolling with buttons.
  • RPN and Algebraic notation support.
  • Robust support for app developers and users.

Cons

  • Keys are a bit on the small side.
  • Lack of an expansion slot.
  • Manual comes on cd, not a printed book.

Bottom Line

The HP Prime is one of the best graphing calculators currently on the market. Its blazing fast speed, easy to use touch screen, and large number of available apps make this calculator an easy choice for those looking for a modern, powerful calculator.

>>> Click here to see ratings, reviews, specifications and prices on Amazon < < <

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Best Financial Calculator for CFA Exam: TI BA II Plus Professional vs. HP 12c

Best Financial Calculator for CFA Exam: TI BA II Plus Professional vs. HP 12c

| February 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

TI BA II Plus Professional vs. HP 12c

The CFA Institute does not leave potential test takers many options when it comes time to choosing which financial calculator to use while taking the CFA exams. In fact there are only two models allowed(along with their variants) either the Texas Instruments BA II Plus or the Hewlett-Packard 12C.

One important tip that many recommend is to BRING TWO IDENTICAL CALCULATORS out of precaution. Batteries can die and buttons can jam and you will be dead in the water if you have to finish without a calculator. The examiner will not let you use a loaner calculator. Financial calculators are very cheap, there is no sense in taking an unnecessary risk.

The rivalry between HP and TI dates back decades and there are many who are sharply divided on the issue similar to the rivalry of Mac vs. PC, but the main difference comes down to something called Reverse Polish Notation or RPN, which I go into great detail in here if you are interested. But basically it comes down to what order you prefer to press the buttons on the calculator to reach the answer.

TI BA II Plus Professional

Overtime RPN has fallen out of favor and Texas Instruments has come to be the dominant player in the calculator industry and many study guides now only include examples on how to use the TI BA II, and you will find most of your classmates use the TI BA II Plus or TI BA II Professional and it is most likely the calculator you are already most familiar with.

Pros

      • Familiarity. Widely used and easy to find established study materials.
      • Capability to perform a larger number of functions such as Discounted Payback
      • Affordable

Cons

    • No Reverse Polish Notation

 

HP 12c

Many old school bankers prefer RPN since that was the standard while they were going through school and many were given the HP 12C which uses RPN as standard issue on their first day.

Pros

  • Uses Reverse Polish notation. This is a no brainer if you are a diehard RPN convert.
  • Street Cred. If you show up with one of these everyone assumes you are a financial savant.

Cons

  • RPN again. If you have never used the HP 12c you should plan on spending a few hours getting to master the calculator. But many swear you should put in the effort due to the time saving effect of having to use fewer key strokes to get to the answer with an RPN calculator and every second counts on the exam.
  • Price. Tends to be more expensive than the TI competitor but you may be able to pick up a used one HERE for far less. Be sure to buy one from a seller with near perfect feedback.

Who wins?

It all comes down to what you feel most comfortable with. If you have never used an RPN calculator before then right before a major exam is not the best time to begin learning a whole new process and you should stick with the TI BA II Plus. However if you are already a pro with HP calculators then by all means stick with the HP 12C enjoy it, you earned the right to bask in the limelight.

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What Calculators are Allowed on the ACT? – ACT Calculator List

What Calculators are Allowed on the ACT? – ACT Calculator List

| July 30, 2013 | 0 Comments

What calculators are allowed on the ACT?

This is one of the most important questions students ask. The ACT is very strict on their calculator policy and you need to make sure you arrive with an ACT approved calculator.

The ACT allows both scientific and graphing calculators as well as basic calculators so long as they do not contain certain advanced features.

You are also allowed to bring a spare calculator with you as a backup which is highly recommended! Trust me, you do not want to get to the math portion of the test and find out your calculator has malfunctioned. If you do not already have a backup you can purchase them easily from Amazon by clicking on the models in the list below.

ACT APPROVED CALCULATORS

>>> Click here to see ratings, reviews, specifications and prices on Amazon < < <

ACT BANNED CALCULATORS

  • Any Variation of the TI-89
  • Any Variation of the TI-92
  • Voyage 200
  • TI Nspire CX CAS
  • HP 48gII
  • Any HP 40g or 49g
  • HP 50g
  • Casio Algebra FX 2.0
  • Casio Classpad 300
  • Any Casio CFX-9970g
  • any other calculator with the following features such as a computer algebra system(CAS), QWERTY keyboard(non QWERTY keyboards are allowed), stylus, ability to access the internet or communicate electronically. No laptops, cellphones, or tablets, or pocket organizers.

ACT also has several other restrictions on calculators in order for them to be permitted. Calculators with tape must have the paper removed, calculators that make noise must be on silent mode, calculators such as the HP38/39/48g that can communicate with other calculators must have the IR data port covered with duct tape or other material. Finally no power cords are allowed. Be sure to double check the list and dont forget your spare calculator!

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Hp 15C Limited Edition Scientific Calculator Review

Hp 15C Limited Edition Scientific Calculator Review

| July 27, 2013 | 0 Comments

Hp 15C Limited Edition Review

The HP 15C Limited Edition was released on the 30th Anniversary of Hp-12C edition. The earlier version (HP 15C Scientific Calculator) was introduced in the market in 1982 but it was discontinued in 1989 and the price of that scientific calculator was about $100. The latest version of Hp-15C i.e. HP 15C Limited Edition was released in 2011 and its price was about $180. The Hp-15C Limited Edition is the latest version of HP 15C Scientific Calculator with the modern ARM technology which is powered by 12C hardware. This new version is very practicle for the power users, providing portability and it provides RPN mode which makes the computation easier. This version is more advantageous to engineers as it provides the complex computation operations like complex numbers, matrix operations, integration, differentiation and roots problems. The new version of  the HP-15cis better than its original version in many respects i.e. the design of HP 15C Limited Edition is more simple and elegant, it provides more scientific functions, it is portable as it can be placed in the pocket of a shirt and its keyboard keys are less solid and are user friendly.

The Limited Editionis much faster than the original Hp-15C as it provides the answers of the complex problems like integration of polynomial functions and factorial of non-integers in the glimpse of an eye. HP has provided about one hundred times faster operations than the original Hp-15C edition. The palpable response of the keys of the Limited Edition is another big achievement of Hewlett Packard. The re-released version has a detailed manual about using the calculator for the desired calculations, a sleek and attractive collectible box and a CD for the instructions. The display of the Limited Edition is also better than the original one as it provides a wider display range and better contrast. The processor is much faster and the operating system starts up and shuts down instantly. To sum up the whole story,  the Limited Edition is better than the original version in all respects. If you want a fast computations, a large display, palpable response of the keys, portability of the calculator, a scientific calculator with all the functions needed for the engineers and scientists then don’t wait prices are rising fast on the Limited edition as the short supply is gobbled up by die hard HP collectors itching for a chance to own the new HP 15C Limited Edition.

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HP 35s Scientific Calculator Review

HP 35s Scientific Calculator Review

| July 27, 2013 | 0 Comments

HP 35s Scientific Calculator Review

This calculator is classic by many means. It has the look and feel of a serious machine, and the display of a traditional scientific calculator. If you are a loyal HP user, this calculator will feel familiar. The HP 35s Scientific Calculator is a Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) calculator, which means that it doesn’t require the use of brackets to define priorities for evaluation of operators. Some people are long time RPN users and absolutely swear by the method. Some newcomers claim that RPN is very easy to learn and worth the time. Others, yet, prefer to bypass the whole system and go with a more user-friendly and intuitive interface. The RPN mode comes in handy especially in a scientific calculator with fractions like this one in which fractions can be inputted in a variety of ways, as per the user’s choice. The HP 35s calculator is programmable, a huge plus for those who rely on pre-programming to facilitate everyday calculations, or speed up certain test problems. However, only a few programs can be stored since it limits the number of labels and variables to 26.

This scientific calculator with fractions makes it easy to view and perform both regular as well as mixed fractions. It features a fraction button and gives the user the choice to input the fraction using RPN or algebraic mode. Both modes will return the same result, the main difference is in the format of the input. This is more than just a scientific calculator with fractions, it performs advanced mathematics, especially the type required in scientific, medical and engineering professions. Engineers who are already familiar with RPN may consider this calculator a good choice for the NCEES PE and FE exams. Although, it’s not a good choice for everyone because of its interface, it does deliver on the math. Some features are made to facilitate common problems like two-variable equations. Enter and solve two equations with two unknowns simultaneously using the HP Solve application. Enjoy features like numerical integration, and complex number and vector calculations.

Without solar assistance, expect to change the batteries quite often.  The physical design of the calculator is attractive to the serious type, and the buttons are ergonomic and feel easy and comfortable to the touch. A hard protective cover comes included with the calculator.

Unlike most recent scientific calculator models that display four lines at a time, the HP 35s only displays two lines. It also doesn’t feature the newly coveted textbook-like display. This is not the most intuitive or user friendly calculator, but it will certainly appease the more traditional user looking for nothing more than pure programming and mathematical power.

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Casio FX-115ES Plus Review – Casio Scientific Calculator

Casio FX-115ES Plus Review – Casio Scientific Calculator

| July 27, 2013 | 0 Comments

Casio FX-115ES Plus Review

Casio claims that this new calculator is their most advanced scientific calculator to date. It is, in fact, especially when compared to Casio’s previous lines of scientific calculators. The Casio Scientific Calculator FX-115ES PLUS offers the newest trend in scientific calculators: the “natural textbook” look. Inputting complicated equations and reading outputs is made easier with this function because of the way the numbers are organized on the screen. For example, fractions look exactly as they would if written on a piece of paper – a numerator directly above a horizontal line and a denominator underneath. Pi is depicted symbolically and square roots are easier to visualize. This is a feature that helps tremendously during test-taking, especially if your mind is accustomed to viewing equations and examples from written texts. The Casio FX-115ES PLUS also holds previous entries and outputs in memory so that you can recall and modify current entries.

The Casio FX-115ES PLUS is a good choice for the NCEES FE and PE exams as its mathematical capabilities are sufficient for most Engineering demands, even more advanced ones. This calculator makes unit conversions easy since the most common unit conversions are pre-programmed into it. During a test, the last thing you want is to strain your brain for scientific constants; this calculator takes that pressure off by giving you access to codes for over forty scientific constants right inside its cover. Enjoy many other useful time- and energy- saving functions. Find the xth root, factorize prime numbers, calculate remainders, convert between metric units, calculate equations and inequalities, perform matrices and vectors, and use complex numbers among many other standard scientific calculator functions.

There is a major drawback to this calculator: its history is wiped when the ON button is pressed or when switching between modes. The calculator automatically shuts off after a couple of idle minutes, which is great for saving power during a long day of problem solving, but if you step away for a quick break everything input and calculated up until then will be gone when you return. This has been reported as its main issue by otherwise very satisfied users.

At 3.35 ounces, this calculator won’t add any burden to your backpack. Its keys are plastic and it comes with a hard cover for safekeeping. The price of this calculator certainly doesn’t reflect its enormous range of possibilities. For the low price, the Casio FX-115ES PLUS is a great investment for anyone looking to adopt and become familiarized with their first – or next – scientific calculator.

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Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX CAS Review – The Best Graphing Calculator?

Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX CAS Review – The Best Graphing Calculator?

| July 25, 2013 | 0 Comments

TI-Nspire CX CAS Review

The TI- Nspire CX CAS Graphing Calculator looks and feels more like a smart phone than a calculator at first glance. The first thing to notice about this calculator is the color screen and distinct button organization featuring a touchpad smack dab in the top middle of the board and a full ABC keyboard at the bottom. Lagging just behind Casio with this innovation, this Nspire brings color and customization to graphing. It operates much like a computer by allowing scrolling, clicking and saving. The backlit LED display HD display’s brightness has 10 adjustable levels, the brightest being bright enough to see under daylight. The batteries included are rechargeable and will last up to two weeks on a single charge and for many years. This is quite an important power implementation, especially for such an energy-guzzling calculator like this one.

Let’s turn to the math. The TI- Nspire CX CAS is capable of all the mathematical feats of a TI-89 , plus some really sweet eccentricities that make it fun and easy to use as well as learn on. Color and animation are everything. Color code equations and graphs, and animate points on objects and graphs. Load pictures and perform mathematical operations on top of the picture for teaching and learning purposes. Use a slider to make interactive graphs and understand their nature. Jot down notes right next to your math as reminders for later. Link multiple documents to see how changing one form affects all others. Use the Vernier DataQuest™ application to create hypotheses graphically and replay data collection experiments. Don’t just calculate, analyze data with advanced statistical methods and multiple data input methods like lists and matrices.

This snazzy calculator is recommended for anyone who needs a graphing calculator, from the high school student beginning to learn about derivatives, to the college student struggling to solve a physics problem set, to the Engineer building a bridge. This calculator doesn’t leave behind any essential functions or facilitative extras. It features textbook-like display of the text (for example, stacked fractions and math symbols) for easy viewing and inputting and includes integrated templates that facilitate input of more unfamiliar problems. Chemists will love a feature called Chem Box which allows for easy input of chemical formulas and equations.

The high tech feel and colorful nature of this incredibly user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing calculator will certainly attract younger generations as well as older ones who want to add some spice and dynamics to their graphing experience with the TI- Nspire CX CAS .

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