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About the SAT/ACT and LSAT

About SAT Exam

Calculator Policy

Acceptable calculators are allowed for mathematics questions only. You will not be allowed to share calculators. You will be dismissed and your scores canceled if you use your calculator to share information during the test or to remove test questions or answers from the test room.

SAT I (the reasoning Test)
The folks who write the SAT exam say that every question in the mathematics sections of the SAT Test can be solved without a calculator. However, we suggest that you bring and use a calculator, especially one with which you are familiar. We recommend the use of a scientific or graphing calculator. You may not use a calculator during the critical reading or writing sections and must put it away during these portions of the test.

SAT Subject Tests
Some questions on these tests cannot be solved without a scientific or graphing calculator. We recommend the use of a graphing calculator over a scientific calculator.

Calculators may only be used on the Mathematics Level 1 and Level 2 Subject Tests. You may not use a calculator for other Subject Tests and must put it away when not taking a mathematics test.

Acceptable Calculators
Calculators permitted during testing are:
  • Graphing calculators
  • Scientific calculators
  • Four-function calculators (not recommended)

If you have a calculator with characters that are one inch or higher, or if your calculator has a raised display that might be visible to other test-takers, you will be seated at the discretion of the test supervisor.

Unacceptable Calculators
You are not allowed to use any of the following items as a calculator:
  • Laptop or a portable/handheld computer
  • Calculator that has QWERTY (typewriter-like) keypad, uses an electrical outlet, makes noise, or has a paper tape
  • Electronic writing pad or pen-input/stylus-driven device
  • Pocket organizer
  • Cell phone calculator

Calculator Tips
  • Bring a calculator with you, even if you're not sure if you will use it. Calculators will not be available at the test center.
  • If you don't use a calculator regularly, practice using it on sample SAT mathematics questions before the test. Use a calculator with which you are familiar.
  • All questions on the SAT Reasoning Test can be answered without a calculator. The questions do not require complicated or tedious calculations.
  • Don't buy an expensive, sophisticated calculator just to take the test. Although you can use them for the test, more sophisticated calculators are not required for any problem on the test.
  • Don't try to use a calculator on every question. First, decide how to solve the problem, and then decide whether to use the calculator. The calculator is meant to aid you in problem solving selected questions, not to get in the way.
  • It may help to do scratch work in the test book. Get your thoughts down before using your calculator.
  • Make sure your calculator is in good working order and that batteries are fresh. If your calculator fails during testing and you have no backup, you'll have to complete the test without it.