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CALCULATOR for Calculus??

Smile614Smile614 Posts: 1,530Registered User Senior Member
edited November 2008 in AP Tests Preparation
Do you really need a TI-89 for Calculus?

I've been using a TI-83 for a long time so I'm really familiar with it.
But since i'll be taking Calculus for 2 years in high school (11,12 grade)
Is it worth getting??? (I mean it's like $150+ or something and what in the world am I gonna do with 2 calculators.)

How much will it help me on the AP exam, in class, SAT/SAT IIs, College classes..etc??
Since part of the AP exam is without a calculator. I want to do well in this class!
But the TI-89 can do some pretty cool things =]

I'm already a couple of months into the class and it's not too bad yet but once we get into harder stuff, maybe a more complex calculator will help?

Suggestions?
Post edited by Smile614 on

Replies to: CALCULATOR for Calculus??

  • TheMathProfTheMathProf Posts: 810Registered User Member
    The vast majority of my students use a TI-83 or TI-84 model calculator and do perfectly fine on the exam. The exam is also designed not to give preference or change difficulty significantly for one calculator model over another.

    College classes, that would depend on the college, but you can always find that out once you get there. Some college professors are still of the "no calculators ever" belief, while others encourage the use of graphing calculators.
  • Smile614Smile614 Posts: 1,530Registered User Senior Member
    Last year in APCalc the teacher required that everyone get the TI-89 so you don't waste time factoring,expanding..etc (and if you forget or isn't very good and make stupid mistakes when doing it)

    But I've heard of people getting 5s on the AP exam using a TI-83.
    That might be harder though?
  • TheMathProfTheMathProf Posts: 810Registered User Member
    I can't imagine that it's harder. Most of the questions that rely on those skills are on the non-calculator section. The kinds of questions that are on the calculator sections usually involve functions that you simply cannot do by hand, or that it would be extremely time-consuming to do by hand (more so than simple factoring).

    Although, if the AP teacher is requiring a TI-89, it might be helpful to have one if the teacher is doing demonstrations.
  • Smile614Smile614 Posts: 1,530Registered User Senior Member
    Thank you very much for your input!!

    We have a new teacher this year that just recommends it but doesn't require it. She doesn't know how to work it as well as some other teachers though so I'll be messing around with it for awhile myself to learn the basics. (Which I dont mind)

    I'm just a couple of months into the class so I guess I'll wait and see how it goes and maybe get one by Thanksgiving/Christmas if necessary. Anything to help my AP/class scores! And since I'll be taking BC next year..it might come in handy I guess.
  • Ren the SAT'erRen the SAT'er Posts: 2,303Registered User Senior Member
    i got a 5 on the AB with my TI83+ ,it's perfectly fine lol. u just have to know how to use it =) intersections,solving for X's , easy,TI 83 can do the job
  • Smile614Smile614 Posts: 1,530Registered User Senior Member
    You can solve for x using the TI-83?

    I'm pretty familiar with the TI-83 since I've been using it since algebra I. But it seems like being able to solve integrals,derivatives on the TI-89 would come in pretty handy and allow you to use your time more efficiently on the AP exam..
  • TheMathProfTheMathProf Posts: 810Registered User Member
    The problem is that all the "easy" derivatives and integrals are on the non-calculator section, and all the "hard" ones usually ask you for the value of the derivative at a point or for the result of a definite integral, both of which you can do on the TI-83 without actually calculating the actual derivative or integral.
  • Smile614Smile614 Posts: 1,530Registered User Senior Member
    ^ Really?? You can do that?
  • TheMathProfTheMathProf Posts: 810Registered User Member
    Yup.

    On the TI-83 or TI-84, the derivative at a point is found using the nDeriv( command (under the [MATH] menu as option [8]). The format is nDeriv(function, variable, x-value).

    Similarly, on the TI-83 or TI-84, a definite integral on a given interval can be found using fnInt (in the [MATH] menu as option [9]). The format is fnInt(function, variable, lower limit of integration, upper limit of integration).

    Neither of these functions actually differentiates or integrates. In the case of nDeriv, the calculator performs a symmetric instantaneous rate of change function, while in the case of fnInt, the function uses Riemann sums to approximate the area under the curve.
  • Smile614Smile614 Posts: 1,530Registered User Senior Member
    Thank you SOO much! This is going to help alot!
    I had no idea a TI-83 could do so much. There's probably a lot more I don't know about my calculator then! haha. And I've had it since the 7th grade!
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