The ACTÂ® is a standardized test taken by high school students in the United States, used for college admissions. One of the sections of the ACT is the math test, which can be completed without a calculator. However, in practice, most students find it beneficial to use a calculator to solve complex math problems within the given time limit. One popular choice among students is the Hewlett Packard (HP) calculator, specifically the TI-84 Plus CE. This article will discuss the benefits of using an HP calculator for the ACT and recommend the best calculator options for test-takers.
Benefits of Using an HP Calculator for the ACT
When it comes to choosing a calculator for the ACT, comfort and familiarity are key. It is important for students to use a calculator they are comfortable with and have practiced using extensively before the test. This familiarity allows them to navigate through the calculator's layout quickly and efficiently, saving valuable time during the exam. Students should spend a few months using the calculator for their math homework to master its features and layout.
HP calculators, such as the TI-84 Plus CE, offer a wide range of features that can help students solve math problems more efficiently. These calculators come standard with applications that can handle complex calculations, such as finding the roots of a polynomial or solving a system of equations. While some may argue that using these features undermines the understanding of math concepts, they are permitted by the ACT and can be valuable tools for optimizing time and resources during the test.
Recommended Calculator: TI-84 Plus CE
The TI-84 Plus CE is considered one of the best calculators for the ACT test. It offers a range of features that can simplify complex calculations and help students solve problems more efficiently. Some of its notable features include a faster fraction maker, faster matrix entry, and improvements to the display in the PlySmlt2 app. The TI-84 Plus CE is widely used, which means there are numerous online tutorials and resources available to help students familiarize themselves with its features.
The TI-84 Plus CE is recommended over other HP calculators, such as the TI-Nspire CX, due to its user-friendly interface. While the TI-Nspire CX offers similar features, its menu system can be overwhelming for some students. The TI-84 Plus CE strikes a balance between functionality and ease of use, making it a popular choice among test-takers.
What Calculator Do You Need for the ACT?
It is important to note that the ACT has specific guidelines regarding the use of calculators during the test. Students are responsible for knowing which calculators are approved by the ACT. To make things easier, we will only discuss calculators that are allowed by the ACT.
Budget-Friendly Option: TI-36X Pro
If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, the TI-36X Pro is a great choice. Despite not being a graphing calculator, it offers many features found in graphing calculators, such as a polynomial solver and a system of equation solver. These features are easily accessible through dedicated buttons, rather than buried within complex menu options. The TI-36X Pro is priced around $20, making it an affordable option for students.
- Can I use a TI-84 on the ACT?
- What graphing calculators are allowed on the ACT?
- How long does the ACT take?
- What should I bring to the ACT test?
Yes, the TI-84 Plus CE is an approved calculator for the ACT. It offers a range of features that can help students solve math problems more efficiently.
The ACT allows the use of graphing calculators, including the TI-84 Plus CE and the TI-Nspire CX. These calculators have features that can simplify complex calculations and help students optimize their time during the test.
The ACT has a total testing time of approximately 3 hours and 35 minutes, including breaks. The actual test time varies depending on the sections being taken and any optional sections.
When taking the ACT, you should bring your admission ticket, acceptable photo identification, number 2 pencils, a watch or timing device, a permitted calculator for the math test, and a snack for break time.
Takeaway
While a calculator is not a silver bullet that guarantees success on the ACT, choosing the right calculator can significantly improve a student's testing experience. The Hewlett Packard TI-84 Plus CE is a highly recommended calculator for the ACT, offering a range of features and ease of use. Students should practice using their chosen calculator extensively before the test to maximize its benefits. By learning the calculator's special tricks and understanding when it is best to use, students can optimize their resources and tackle the ACT math section with confidence.