Now, which calculators should you prefer for the SAT?
We recommend students use the graphic in-built calculator on the Bluebook app. It consists of a wide range of applications. For practice, you can use the link https://www.desmos.com/calculator.
The only difference between scientific and graphing calculators is that graphing calculators also have the ability to graph functions, such as exponents, squares, roots, etc. So, a few questions in coordinate geometry dealing with graphs may be easier to attempt if you have a graphing calculator. But keep in mind, that a graphing calculator is not a prerequisite for solving any question. Even graph-based questions can be attempted manually; with a proper technique, they may be solved even faster than with the help of a graphing calculator.
It takes time to punch in all the inputs in a graphing calculator. Moreover, there are questions that deal with the interpretation of graphs, and they can’t be solved by a calculator at all. A student needs to have an in-depth knowledge of functions and graphs to solve those questions. So, having a graphing calculator is not a substitute for knowledge of coordinate geometry.
So, should you use a graphing calculator?
We would say that it depends on your comfort level.
Suppose, all your life, you have manually drawn graphs, and you are most comfortable with this method. Then, it makes sense to solve graph-based questions by drawing the graphs manually, as that process is most suitable for you. But if you extensively use graphing calculators in school to draw the graphs of functions, and this comes naturally to you, then the usage of a graphing calculator gives a great advantage in the test.
To repeat, a graphing calculator is not a substitute for knowledge of coordinate geometry. There will be many questions that cannot be solved with even a calculator, and you would need knowledge of coordinate geometry to attempt them.
Another aspect involved in choosing between a graphing or a scientific calculator can be the cost aspect of owning a graphing calculator. Most graphing calculators cost between Rs. 8000 and Rs. 10,000, while scientific calculators can be bought for even Rs. 500. So, if the cost is a constraint, a scientific calculator would be preferable to a graphing calculator. Nevertheless, the built-in graphic calculator on the Bluebook app is the best.
You must remember to carry your calculator. You can’t share one.
Good Luck for your SAT!