What Calculators Are Allowed on the SAT?


Preparing for the SAT includes learning how to use tools that can help you succeed on the test. Although all the problems found in the general math portion of the SAT can be completed without the use of a calculator, the College Board recommends using a scientific or graphing calculator to help speed up calculations. Also, some portions of the Mathematics Level 1 and Level 2 Subject Tests require the use of either a graphing or a scientific calculator to solve the problems. The College Board recommends graphing calculators over scientific calculators for these subject tests. Calculators are not permitted for any other part of the SAT exam.

Banned Calculators

  • Any calculator that's not just a calculator -- for example, any calculator that has Bluetooth capability, Internet capability, a qwerty keyboard, a stylus and touchscreen pad or the ability to record or take photos -- is not allowed. In addition, any calculator that needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet, makes a lot of noise -- including talking -- or uses paper tape is not allowed into the SAT testing center. Calculator apps, such as those found on a tablet or phone, are also against the rules.

Tips Regarding Use

  • Calculators cannot be shared, and they should have fresh batteries. Becoming very familiar with how your calculator works before you take the test is also highly recommended, as this allows you to go straight to solving the problem rather than wasting time trying to figure out how to input the calculation.


  • Photo Credit Peter Clark/iStock/Getty Images
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