# GRAPHIC CALCULATOR

Found 22nd Jan 2011

Hi there just wanting some advice my son is doing A Level Maths and has been told he needs a graphic calculator - can anyone recommend a make ?

Thanks

Thanks

Found 22nd Jan 2011

Hi there just wanting some advice my son is doing A Level Maths and has been told he needs a graphic calculator - can anyone recommend a make ?

Thanks

Thanks

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See link for help, but i used to have a sharp (didnt have it long enough to remember the model number) thestudentroom.co.uk/sho…909

I'm not saying you absolutely have to have one, but if it's allowed in the exam why wouldn't you use one, even if it's only to check? When I did my A-Levels I was sold a calculator by the school itself! You'll be at a disadvantage if you don't have one and everybody else does simply because when it comes to the exam you're basically competing against them to see who can do better. If you spent over £100 on one then that probably wouldn't have been allowed in an exam any way, one's that can do symbolic calculations like integrals etc. aren't allowed.

To answer the OP's question I used a Sharp EL-9900, but it's best to check with the school first, because if they recommend a certain one that's the one they'll teach everybody to use, so it's best to have the same one for obvious reasons!

I argree, but which teacher is going to check the spec of the calculator and accept/reject each and everyone? I remember when i was at uni the graphic calculators had just come out a few years ago and no one checked or cared whether your calculator could work out integrals or could run the 100m sprint!! the fact is as much as we need claculators we must learn to live without them...... but to use it as a checking tool i agree with......but how many other students use it primarily for that?

Perhaps I'm making assumptions here, but I'm guessing it was quite a long time ago that you did your A Levels? I did mine a few years ago and just finished a degree in Mathematics last summer. If I remember correctly I had to do six exams for the Maths A Level, and only one was non calculator. As I said the school itself sold me a calculator, and everybody bought one. The teachers expected you to have one. But they also knew what the regulations allowed in exams, and if you brought along a really fancy calculator for an exam, one that could do integrals symbolically for example, they would've taken it off you. As 99% of us had bought our calculators off the school, and they only offered two different models which they already knew were allowed in the exam, it really wasn't much effort for the teachers to check them beforehand. So yes, when I did my A levels the teachers effectively did check the spec of each one.

I think your original statement that "the teacher who said he needs is an idiot" is very unfair. Calculators are allowed in the exam, and like it or not, the job of a teacher nowadays is to maximize exam marks, so teaching students how to use their calculator is part of it. Simply put if two students of a similar skill level enter an exam, one with a calculator and one without, who's most likely to make a silly mistake under the pressure? You may not agree with it but that's how it works.

Anywa, congratulations on your mathematics degree...... what was your dissertation on?

To answer your question, I didn't have to do a dissertation, just a load of exams, all of which were non calculator! That's not to say that I didn't use a calculator at all during my degree though, when working through homework sheets I'd quite often use a calculator, or more often a computer program, to do tedious things like multiply together large matrices or to find roots of polynomials and factor them, stuff I could easily do but didn't want to waste time doing. Indeed doing stuff like that was encouraged by most of the lecturers I had, as the tedious things detracted from what they were actually trying to teach!