Why Do I Need Two Calculators?
Many students own two calculators. One "normal" graphing calculator and one "smart" graphing calculator. The "normal" graphing calculator is safe to use on tests, quizzes, and homework. Why is it safe? Because of the fact that it will not give you exact answers to complex Calculus problems. It will instead assist you with smaller calculations while allowing you to do the rest of the work on your own. The "smart" calculator is the exact opposite. It will allow you enter in entire problems such as triple integrals and receive a exact answer that can include fractions, squareroots, and pi. For this reason these calculators are often banned in the class room and not allowed to be used on tests, quizzes, or homework. Having one of each calculator will help you get exact answers whenever you need it outside of the classroom while still having a proper calculator for inside the class room.
Calculators We Recommend
Choosing a Graphing Calculator Step #1
Research you Calculus course and find out if that specific class requires a certain brand and/or model of calculator. Often times lower division Calculus courses will ask for a specific calculator so that the instructor can easily teach students how to use a graphing calculator. If a specific calculator is required start by purchasing that calculator.
Choosing a Graphing Calculator Step #2
Find out what brand/model everyone else is using. Having the same calculator as the other students you will be studying with will make it easier to learn. One the most popular brands of calculators is Texas Instruments. They have both "normal" and "smart" graphing calculators for great prices that are well known by students. There's a very good chance that this is the brand your classmates will be using.
Choosing a Graphing Calculator Step #3
Purchase you calculator online for the best price. Buying two calculators can be expensive! So make sure you get the best deal by purchasing online. I'll provide a list of the best online prices of Texas Instruments graphing calculators.
From experience we recommend you first start with a TI-84 from Texas Instruments. This Calculator will easily get you through your Pre-Calculus, Calculus I, and Calculus II courses. At this point we strongly encourage buying a TI NSPIRE CX to prepare for Calculus III. This Calculator is top of the line and will prove to have all of the tools you need to succeed in you Calculus courses as well any other math related courses further in your education.