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Calculators on the SAT

A guide to calculator use on the digital SAT
When it comes to the Math section of the SAT, you'll probably want to use a calculator, whether it’s the graphing calculator built into the Bluebook testing application or your own. But, if you’re bringing your own, make sure you know which types of calculators are allowed. The College Board allows most four-function, scientific, and graphing calculators, but there are some exceptions, so be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information and a complete list of accepted calculators.

The built-in Desmos calculator

  • If you’re taking the SAT digitally, you will have access to a graphing calculator built into the testing platform.
  • The calculator on the test is identical to this version.
  • Learn more about using a Desmos calculator here.

SAT calculator rules

  • Bring your own calculator. You won’t be allowed to share with anyone.
  • Calculators are only allowed during the Math portion of the SAT. Don’t get it out during the Reading and Writing portion!
  • Don’t use your calculator to share answers. This one seems obvious, but please don’t use your calculator to share answers or remove questions from the room. Your scores will be canceled if you do.

Some tips for using calculators on the SAT

  • Once you know which calculator you plan to use, make sure you're familiar with it. You don't want to waste time during the test trying to figure out how to use your calculator, so practice with it beforehand and get to know all the functions you might need.
  • Make sure you have fresh batteries in your calculator. You won’t be allowed to charge it with a power cord.
  • Use your calculator strategically. Just because you have a calculator doesn't mean you need to use it for every question. Sometimes it might be faster to do the math in your head or on paper. So think about the question and decide if using your calculator will actually save you time.
With these tips in mind, you'll be able to make the most of your calculator on the SAT!

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