The Best SAT Calculator

Are you looking for the best calculator to help you with your SAT Math Test? If so, then it's important to pick one that is allowed under the Calculator Policy. This guide will show you which SAT calculators are the best to choose from.

When you get to the Math sections of the SAT exam, you are allowed to use a calculator to make things easier for you. The quick functions of your calculator will help you be more efficient in the exam, so you can focus on answering the questions better.

However, not all calculators are allowed to be used when you take the SAT test, so it's better to be safe and pick a calculator that IS allowed. After all, the best SAT calculator is one that isn't going to get taken off you by the teachers!

My Overall #1 Recommended SAT Calculator

The TI-84 Plus CE (2015 model)

  • Can be used in SAT and PSAT tests
  • Much easier to use than the TI-Nspire CX
  • 2x faster than TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition
  • Can also be used in ACT, IB, and AP tests

What Calculators Are Not Allowed on the SAT?

The SAT banned calculator list isn't a specific list of actual calculators. Instead, it's a list of features which are banned from use on the SAT test. Here are features that will get you and your calculator banned:

  • The calculator CANNOT have any wireless communication, such as WiFi or infrared. This means laptops, tablets, cell phones, smart phones, smart watches or any kind of wearable tech.
  • No stylus or pen based devices are allowed.
  • No Qwerty keyboard calculators. Fun fact: The TI-Nspire models do have a keyboard, but it's alphabetical and not Qwerty, so it's allowed!
  • The calculator cannot make sound or have a tape printout feature.
  • The calculator cannot reply on being plugged into a socket

These are the basic rules enforced by the College Board, and if you choose a calculator which doesn't break any of these banned features, you should be fine.

Which Calculators are Acceptable on the SAT Test?

Luckily, there are a lot of calculators which are allowed on the SAT. Chances are that you own, or are looking to buy, a Texas Instruments calculator of some kind.

Pretty much all Texas Instruments calculators are allowed on the SAT, and I recommend the TI-84 CE Plus because it's the fastest and easiest to use of the bunch.

Other TI calculators you could use:

  • TI-30
  • TI-34
  • TI-82
  • TI-83
  • TI-84
  • TI-89
  • TI-Nspire and TI-Nspire CAS

Note: you don't use the TI-92 or TI-Voyage because those calculators have Qwerty keyboards.

TI are the most popular calculators and probably the best calculators to use for the SAT, but you can also use most Casio and HP models too.

In fact, the HP Prime is the only touch screen calculator allowed for use on the SAT.

Why Did You Recommend the TI-84 Plus CE and Not the TI-Nspire CX?

A lot of people will recommend the TI-Nspire CX because it's the latest and greatest TI calculator on the market.

The reasons I recommend the TI-84 Plus CE are simple:

  1. The TI-84 Plus CE is cheaper than the TI-Nspire CX
  2. It's also a lot easier to use (the Nspire CX has additional features you don't need for the SAT which makes it hard to use in comparison)
  3. The TI-84 is the most popular graphing calculator globally - there's really no need to go with anything fancier!

Now, if you already have one of the calculators listed as being acceptable for the SAT, then you can use that and there is no need to purchase another.


It's recommended that you bring a backup SAT calculator with you, just in case your primary calculator stops working in the exam.

For this you could purchase a second hand TI-84 Plus CE from Amazon or eBay and use it purely as a backup SAT calculator.

Conclusion: Which SAT Calculator?

There is no need to overthink it. If you don't already have a SAT-approved calculator, go with the TI-84 Plus CE.

If you do have a SAT-approved calculator but need a backup, look for a used TI-84.

Choosing your SAT calculator really is that simple!

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