Using A Calculator on The New SAT’s Math SectionAugust 24, 2016, 04:45 PM
A common question that SAT test takers have is whether or not they can use a calculator on the math section of the exam. Since there are 58 questions on the math section, knowing if you can use a calculator (and what type of calculator) is important. The answer is yes, but with some important caveats. First, your calculator must be on the SAT-approved list. The one on your smartphone won’t work, because you’re not allowed to use mobile devices during the SAT.
Though calculators are allowed on some SAT math questions, you may not need one when solving certain types of problems. If you already know the answer, and just use your calculator to double-check your answer, you may be wasting time. Some questions can be answered more quickly without using a calculator. You need to gauge whether or not to use a calculator on any given question on the math section of the new SAT, which can be a tough task.
So do you really need a calculator to do well on the SAT? It all depends. Do you normally use a calculator when working in your math courses? If so, then an approved calculator can be handy. But if not, it may get in the way of your test taking rhythm. In that case, it may be best to go without.
Bottom line: Bring an approved calculator with which you’re very familiar -- the SAT is NOT the time to bring a brand new calculator you’ve never used before -- and only use it if needed. With questions that can be answered without the use of a calculator, you’ll be better off going without.
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