4 Best Graphing Calculators for High School Students

Graphing calculators are useful for any high school student involved in math courses. They are becoming increasingly essential as the popularity of Advanced Placement and dual enrollment courses grows. These more complicated math courses require devices that are capable of computing complicated math equations, and graphing calculators are the tools needed to make these computations.

 

Top Pick

Texas Instruments Nspire CX CAS Graphing Calculator

  • Color screen
  • CAS capabilities 
  • Rechargeable batteries 

 

As a high schooler, it is important to have a reliable graphing calculator that can be used across a variety of courses and is approved for the variety of standardized tests, ranging from AP, SAT, and PSAT/NMSQT tests, that they have to take.

Here’s a list of 4 of the best graphing calculators that meet these requirements while still being affordable and efficient.

Texas Instruments Nspire CX CAS Graphing Calculator

  • Color screen
  • CAS capabilities 
  • Rechargeable batteries

The Texas Instrument Nspire CX CAS is ideal for the motivated, intellectual high school student. Its functions allow for success in diverse courses that the other calculators on this list can’t assist in, like life science, physical science, earth science, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering.

These more advanced concepts, while present at high schools for gifted students, are likely not on every high schooler’s radar. This calculator can be more complicated to use and can take time to become familiar with. Unlike the other calculators featured on this list, this one isn’t approved for standardized tests that high schoolers are often required to take. For this reason, this calculator should serve as a secondary tool for the student looking to exceed the expectations set for them.

While the Nspire is the most expensive calculator on this list, it is a great choice if a STEM college path is in the foreseeable future. This calculator can easily be transferred to use in college and is a great start for a high achiever who shows advanced mathematic potential.

 

Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE Graphing Calculator

  • Color screen
  • Same great TI-84 interface
  • Rechargeable batteries

The TI-84 Plus CE has a sleek display that showcases its graphs and equations in color. This calculator is ideal for the high school student who wants a shiny accessory to complement their passion for math.

This calculator is a bit more expensive than the TI-84 Plus Graphics, but carries the same functions.

The main benefits of this calculator are visual. It comes with grid lines for easing the interpretation of graphs. The readability of the screen is improved with this calculator’s display. It is worth spending the extra money on this calculator, especially for high schoolers planning to enroll in multiple math courses throughout their high school career. They’ll appreciate the beauty of a colorful, easy to read display.

Another benefit of the CE is that it comes with a long-lasting rechargeable battery, so replacing entire batteries won’t be an issue.

Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphics Calculator

  • Classic
  • Long lasting batteries
  • Easy to use
  • Lacking some advanced features

This calculator is the TI-84 Plus CE’s more simplistic counterpart. It is ideal for use throughout the entirety of any high school career. It’s most practical in courses ranging from the most basic of pre-algebra courses all the way through Advanced Placement Calculus and Physics courses.

It is notably ideal for use in geometry courses, as it comes with Cabri Jr., which is an interactive geometry software.

It has a long battery life and its interface is very user-friendly for a high schooler who is just getting accustomed to the use of this tool that they may have been previously unfamiliar with.

The TI-84 Plus Graphics is a great choice for those looking for a combination of simplicity and a great price value. It’s not as flashy and attractive as the CE is, but it performs well with a simpler display to view.

This calculator lacks a computer algebra system, so taking limits and finding integrals and derivatives can’t be done on this device. However, these are skills that are meant to be performed without a calculator on standardized tests, so this calculator’s incapability to perform these tasks is unimportant for a high schooler learning to master these skills by hand.

 

Casio fx-9750GII Graphing Calculator

  • Great value
  • Comes with many programs
  • Long lasting batteries
  • Less familiar interface than TI-84

The Casio fx-9750GII is very similar in functionality to number 2 on this list. However, it ranks first because it is much cheaper. For less than half the price of the TI-84 Plus Graphics calculator, you can receive the Casio version that many customers say performs just as well.

The one major drawback of this Casio calculator is that it is not in accordance with the calculators that are typical in a high school setting. High school teachers, textbooks, and curriculum often center on the Texas Instrument interface. It is the brand that is most familiar in the high school environment.

However, the Casio interface can be mastered through practice and the use of online resources. This calculator is perfect for high school students who want to pay the minimal amount for a reliable graphing calculator.

 

 

Evaluating your individual preferences and interests and conducting your own research is essential in choosing the proper graphing calculator to simplify your high school mathematics experience!

 

 

 

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