The Best Calculator for PSAT of 2021

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What calculator is needed for PSAT? Honestly, none! The PSAT, according to the College Board, can technically be solved without using a calculator on the calculator section, however, it is highly recommended.

The fact that it is not required reveals that there is a greater emphasis on prior knowledge than there is on one’s ability to use a calculator. The purpose of the calculator on the PSAT is to aid you in getting your answers faster in a simpler fashion.

The most important qualities to prioritize when looking for a PSAT calculator, or any standardized calculator for that matter, is one that computes answers quickly with as few steps as possible. Below is your guide to PSAT approved calculators that help you accomplish precisely that..

Whichever calculator you decide to get, if you don’t know how to properly use the calculator, then its purpose is defeated since you are using up the test’s time trying to understand how to work the device. At that point, you might as well just solve the exam with paper and pencil (not recommended).

If you want to just get back to studying, get our top choice for calculator for PSAT here.

Our Top Favorite
Texas Instruments Nspire CX CAS Graphing Calculator
Our Top Runner Up
Texas Instruments TI-34 MultiView Scientific Calculator
Our Top Value Pick
Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator
Calculator
TI N-Spire CX CAS
TI-34 Multiview
TI-83 Plus
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
Texas Instruments Nspire CX CAS Graphing Calculator
Calculator
TI N-Spire CX CAS
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Texas Instruments TI-34 MultiView Scientific Calculator
Calculator
TI-34 Multiview
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Value Pick
Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator
Calculator
TI-83 Plus
Prime Eligible?
-

Last update: 2021-07-22

Our Favorites for Best Calculator for PSAT

TI N-Spire CX CAS

This calculator is essentially a computer…it can truly do it all. It is a CAS calculator (computer algebra system) meaning that it can perform advanced simplification and computations similar to a computer’s capabilities, surpassing all other calculators in terms of functionality. The TI-Nspire CX CAS is one of the newest and fastest calculators on the market.

What makes it Unique:

  • It is made for all STEM fields, not just mathematics like most other devices.
  • This calculator can graph in 3D.
  • The TI-Nspire CX CAS has a back-lit screen and can display up to 16 colors at a time making it visually clear and simple to understand.

Why Choose this Best Calculator for PSAT:

  • The TI-Nspire CX CAS is so advanced that the ACT actually doesn’t allow it to be used on their testing. However, the College Board has cleared it for AP tests, the SAT, and the PSAT.
  • It also has a great battery life, due to its novelty, so you won’t have to worry at all about it dying mid-exam.
  • Since it is for all STEM fields, it can be especially helpful on science-based questions on the calculator math portion.
Texas Instruments Nspire CX CAS Graphing Calculator
  • Ideal for Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 & 2, Trigonometry, Geometry, Pre-calculus, Statistics, Business & Finance, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Calculus, AP Statistics, AP Physics, AP Calculus, and Linear Algebra.
  • Full-color screen with backlit display.
  • All the functionality of the TI-Nspire CX handheld plus a built-in Computer Algebra System (CAS)

Last update: 2021-07-22


TI-84 Plus

This calculator isn’t quite as advanced as the TI-Nspire CX CAS, but it can still do way more than the PSAT will ask of it. From graphing to arithmetic to trigonometric functions this calculator has you totally covered for the PSAT. It’s simplicity makes for an efficient device, especially in a test setting.

What makes it Unique:

  • This calculator has a very simple design that makes it easy to learn to use.
  • Like the TI-Nspire CX CAS, the TI-84 Plus has a back-lit screen and can project up to 15 colors.
  • It comes in a variety of colors including black, gold, white, rose gold, blue, mint, red, and pink.

Why Choose this Best Calculator for PSAT:

  • This calculator is the newest TI device and therefore, it is very fast to compute and graph functions.
  • It has the same battery life as the TI-Nspire CX CAS and will positively last you the entire exam.
  • This is very helpful for the PSAT data analysis questions because it helps you easily differentiate between lines on a graph so prevent mistakes and enhance understanding.
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator, Black
  • All-purpose graphing: pre-algebra, algebra 1, 2, geometry statistics, biology, physics, business and finance
  • Preloaded apps, 480 KB ROM, 24 KB RAM
  • Function visualization, 96 x 64 display resolution

Last update: 2021-07-22


Runner-ups for the Best Calculators for PSAT

TI-34 Multiview

Do you need a graphing calculator for the PSAT? The TI-34 Multiview proves you don’t. It’s way cheaper than the other calculators listed here. When considering its price compared to others of its brand and novelty, it’s hard to beat.

What makes it Unique:

  • Unlike the other devices mentioned, the TI-34 Multiview is solar powered so it is guaranteed to last the entirety of the exam.
  • It has a black and white screen which is less advanced than the back-lit screen, but adds to the simplicity of the device.

Why Choose this Best Calculator for PSAT:

  • The buttons on the device are extremely simple and easy to navigate.
  • The formatting of this calculator is easy to follow and interpret.
  • The price is significantly less than most other PSAT eligible devices, making it not as steep an investment for a preparatory exam.
On Sale
Texas Instruments TI-34 MultiView Scientific Calculator
  • 4-line display enables scrolling and editing of inputs
  • Same functionality as the TI-34II Explorer plus display and feature enhancements
  • MATHPRINT mode for input in math notation, including pi, square roots, fractions, percent's and exponents plus math notation output for fractions

Last update: 2021-07-23


Casio FX 9750GII

This calculator is a graphing calculator. It can do everything you need on the PSAT and allows you to graph to analyze data. There is not an application option, unlike all of these devices by TI, however, those usually aren’t accessed during the PSAT.

What makes it Unique:

  • This device is significantly cheaper to other devices with the same capabilities.
  • This device is very simply designed, however, to access its more advanced abilities, it requires some research and practice.

Why Choose this Best Calculator for PSAT:

  • It is super easy to comprehend how facile equations are as graphs.
  • This calculator boasts a 200+ hour battery life…sure to last you through the 45 minute calculator section of the PSAT.
  • The graphing capabilities allow you to easily solve for intercepts, which is a popular request on the PSAT and SAT alike.
On Sale
Casio fx-9750GII Graphing Calculator with icon based menu. Color white.
  • Large 21-character x 8-line display and Icon menu provides easy access to advanced functions.
  • Graph rectangular, polar and parametric functions and inequalities, graphical analysis, streamlined solving for intercepts, intersections, etc.
  • Capable of graphing x= relations. Built-in graphing of conic sections. Interactive Equation Solver.

Last update: 2021-07-22


Value Picks for Best Calculator for PSAT

TI-83 Plus

This calculator’s interior resembles the Ti-84 Plus. Like its later model, the TI-83 Plus can do all that you need and more on the PSAT. The TI-83 Plus has a black and white display which can be more difficult to comprehend than others listed, especially in the fast-paced testing environment. However, this device is reliable and has a simple design. It is sure to provide you with an efficient and accurate testing experience without breaking the bank.

What makes it Unique:

  • It has a much larger screen than the TI-34 Multiview, which also has a black and white display, making the device much superior in terms of clarity.
  • This calculator has application options and more advanced capabilities than what meets the eye.

Why Choose this Best Calculator for PSAT:

  • This calculator has a notably fast computation speed which is extremely helpful on timed tests like the PSAT.
  • The TI-83 Plus requires 4 AAA batteries, but it’s battery life spans a year with regular usage. More than enough time to complete the PSAT.
On Sale
Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator
  • Permitted for use on SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, ACT, AP, IB and Praxis exams
  • Offers large 64 x 96 pixel, 8 x 16 display; 24KB of RAM; and 160KB Flash ROM memory
  • Also graphs 3 recursively-defined sequences; TVM, cash flows, amortization, and complex numbers

Last update: 2021-07-22


How to Choose the Best Calculator for PSAT For You

Choosing the best calculator for the PSAT is a significant task. Although your PSAT score isn’t as influential in terms of your future as the SAT, doing well on it can secure you scholarships and opportunities, so it is important to take it seriously. With ¼ of the exam being calculator-based math, having a fast and reliable calculator is essential.

We hope that the devices listed above help you narrow your search to find the best calculator for PSAT. Furthermore, to finalize your decision, we suggest that you ask yourself the following questions. This will help you find what the recommended calculator for PSAT is specifically for you.

Check out our ultimate calculator review and comparison of TI-83 Plus vs. TI-84 Plus here.

Will you be using this calculator for the actual SAT in the future?

If so, you should probably invest in one of the more advanced calculators so your device can seamlessly transition to more advanced material as it is presented. If not, spending extra money on an advanced device that has capabilities you won’t use on the PSAT isn’t necessarily worth it.

Although it is suggested that you use the same calculator for the PSAT as you plan on using for the SAT to gain familiarity and to save money, it is not essential. Students are required to start taking the PSAT as early as 8th grade and will regularly be tested until the fall of their junior year in most states. Therefore, there is a significant amount of material students will learn throughout this time that the PSAT will slowly cover as well.

How familiar are you with these calculators?

If you are not familiar with certain computation settings and the location of these abilities on the display, then get a calculator like the TI-34 Multiview that has simple capabilities and clearly labeled buttons.

Obviously, it is advantageous to have a calculator that can do more. If you are set on using one of these accelerated products, then be sure to spend time familiarizing yourself with the device before the test to ensure you won’t be using the limited testing time to do so.

Regardless of which calculator you choose for the PSAT, practicing with it before the test is essential. Most of these calculators have multiple steps for graphing and other advanced problem-solving. Therefore, whether it is with just a few practice problems, or even a test in class, practicing using your calculator before your PSAT testing date will help your calculator do what it’s supposed to do…help you solve the PSAT problems faster.

Wrapping Things Up: The Best Calculator for PSAT

Putting everything together, in this guide we reviewed the following:

Our Top Favorite
Texas Instruments Nspire CX CAS Graphing Calculator
Our Top Runner Up
Texas Instruments TI-34 MultiView Scientific Calculator
Our Top Value Pick
Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator
Calculator
TI N-Spire CX CAS
TI-34 Multiview
TI-83 Plus
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
Texas Instruments Nspire CX CAS Graphing Calculator
Calculator
TI N-Spire CX CAS
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Texas Instruments TI-34 MultiView Scientific Calculator
Calculator
TI-34 Multiview
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Value Pick
Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator
Calculator
TI-83 Plus
Prime Eligible?
-

Last update: 2021-07-22

The TI-84 Plus and the TI-Nspire CX CAS are by far the best calculators on the market and will certainly improve your understanding and efficiency. These calculators are best for you if you are most concerned about finishing the test in time. Their simplicity and speed will be tools for your success.

However, their advancements might be overwhelming, so the TI-34 Multiview and the Casio FX-97500GII might be more your style. These two calculators are less advanced and simplify what the PSAT requires, making for easier computation and function.

If what is holding you back from investing in the top two devices is still the price, then consider the TI-83 Plus which is both advanced and economic. All of these are acceptable PSAT calculators, it’s just a matter of which is best for you.

If you found this helpful, you’re definitely going to like our other calculator reviews here.

Here are some to help you out:

> The Best Calculators for the SAT

> The Best Calculators for the ACT

> The Best Calculator for College

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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