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# Is a graphics calculator worth it? watch

1. Currently doing A2 maths and using the standard fx- 83ES. I'm quite good at most things but the one thing I really struggle on is graphs.

For example. Today we were doing the Modulus of f(x) and I was taking about 5 mins on each question just trying to draw the graph. I basically have to sub in loads of x values so I can get an idea of the shape.

Also are graphics calculators allowed in C3 and C4 exams?
2. You will have to check with the exam boards which calculators you are allowed. They are very handy for stats if you do that aswell.
3. (Original post by TheBlueNowhere)
Currently doing A2 maths and using the standard fx- 83ES. I'm quite good at most things but the one thing I really struggle on is graphs.

For example. Today we were doing the Modulus of f(x) and I was taking about 5 mins on each question just trying to draw the graph. I basically have to sub in loads of x values so I can get an idea of the shape.

Also are graphics calculators allowed in C3 and C4 exams?
Graphical calculators are allowed in all maths exams except C1 (because it's a non-calculator paper) although remember that you're not allowed to have a calculator that can manipulate algebra. They're also rather useful for statistics.
4. (Original post by Gemini92)
Graphical calculators are allowed in all maths exams except C1 (because it's a non-calculator paper) although remember that you're not allowed to have a calculator that can manipulate algebra. They're also rather useful for statistics.
Sounds like it's worth getting one then. I'm quite storng at algebra so wouldn't paticularly need it for any of that. Although going off past experience I don't think the Invigilators at my college would have a clue if I had a graphics calculator that could integrate.
5. tbh, now that wolfram alpha has an iPhone app, I am not sure I need my graphing calculator any more...
6. Yeah, definitely worth it. I can't imagine not using one, in the US you have to have one.
7. (Original post by TheBlueNowhere)
Currently doing A2 maths and using the standard fx- 83ES. I'm quite good at most things but the one thing I really struggle on is graphs.

For example. Today we were doing the Modulus of f(x) and I was taking about 5 mins on each question just trying to draw the graph. I basically have to sub in loads of x values so I can get an idea of the shape.

Also are graphics calculators allowed in C3 and C4 exams?
I bought this one:

And used it for my C3 and C4 A2 exams (AQA) and it wasn't really useful to me but one of my friends found it extremely useful. It depends on how well you can 'imagine' or draw graphs. I can do it without problem, whereas my friend wasn't able to do so. So it depends on the person really.

I would rather not recommend it as they are quite expensive and were not much helpful for me. If you can, try borrowing it or buy a second hand cheap one from eBay.
8. (Original post by TheBlueNowhere)
Currently doing A2 maths and using the standard fx- 83ES. I'm quite good at most things but the one thing I really struggle on is graphs.

For example. Today we were doing the Modulus of f(x) and I was taking about 5 mins on each question just trying to draw the graph. I basically have to sub in loads of x values so I can get an idea of the shape.

Also are graphics calculators allowed in C3 and C4 exams?
You should be able to do the modulus of f(x) without a calc really. But if you are doing stats. then a graphical calculator is a must have. If you are not, it doesnt really matter.
9. To be honest the best a-level calc is Casio fx-991ES personally I find it so helpful and it's not graphic, Graphic calcs are overpriced.
10. Found mine really useful for A level but you're not allowed them at uni so you need to decide whether it's worth it. I'd suggest getting the cheapest one you can that draws graphs
11. I wouldn't say that they're absolutely necessary but they're definitely useful. If you think that a graphical calculator would help you and you can afford one, it's probably a sensible idea to buy one.

As ilovedubstep posted, sketching the graphs of the modulus of f(x) probably shouldn't be too difficult without a calculator but if you think a graphical calculator would help, there's no harm in buying one. Getting one will probably help you with other aspects of maths as well but it's important not to let plugging numbers in to a calculator get in the way of your understanding of mathematical concepts.
12. Yes, its worth it. It can save you remembering some shapes of graphs, help you with transformations etc. They are a little expensive (mine was £20) but if it can help you pick up another 4/5 marks in an exam it's all worth it. You'd be surprised how useful they can be
13. (Original post by ilovedubstep)
You should be able to do the modulus of f(x) without a calc really. But if you are doing stats. then a graphical calculator is a must have. If you are not, it doesnt really matter.
I'm doing S2 next year I think. I can do the modulus fine. It's the initial drawing of the graph that is the problem. Like I said I'm strong with most of the other questions but it's just something about graphs that I really struggle with.

I'm planning on doing something more science based at Uni, moving away from Maths because I'm not really a fan of the pure side of it.

I'll have a quick look on e-bay tomorrow morning and some reviews to see if there is any value in them. All I paticularly want is one that can do graphs for me.
14. In the C3 paper I sat in January, there was one question about drawing a graph (a transformation of a cos graph if I remember).
I got it right, without the graphic calculator. Granted, it did take a few minutes, but once you know the general "rules" of transformations (they're not hard. You either need time to get used to them of get a teacher to explain it to you). The graph sketch was only worth 2 marks. You can say that 2 marks is the difference between meeting your offer and missing it. You can also say that 2 marks wont really have a massive impact on your grade. It depends how many contingency points you have, and how lucky (or otherwise) you are feeling.

Personally, it would have cost £45 for the calculator. Instead, I bought a rubber for 15p before the exam. £45 for 2 marks, or £0.15 for 2 marks? Your decision.
15. I love my graphical calculator and it was money well spent. I do FMaths too though, so it's been used a hell of a lot. I use it to check graphs and visualise problems where graphs are too complicated to draw, to check answers / intersects etc, to see if my answer is right or if I've made mistakes, so it's been a major help.
Also, being able to fit your last four calculations on the same screen really helps you keep track of things. Solving simultaneous equations and polynomials was also a huge help, seeing as in my A2, you got no extra marks to solve them, just needed the answers. Saved a lot of time, especially when simultaneous equations can get very complicated to solve normally.

I love my calculator and I don't care who knows it <3
16. (Original post by TheBlueNowhere)
I'm doing S2 next year I think. I can do the modulus fine. It's the initial drawing of the graph that is the problem. Like I said I'm strong with most of the other questions but it's just something about graphs that I really struggle with.

I'm planning on doing something more science based at Uni, moving away from Maths because I'm not really a fan of the pure side of it.

I'll have a quick look on e-bay tomorrow morning and some reviews to see if there is any value in them. All I paticularly want is one that can do graphs for me.
I would really recommend it for Statistics. I am doing S1 at the moment and the majority of the questions can be done by simply adding all the data to the calculator. Then it will tell you everything from the line of regression, the standard deviation, the mean, the correlation coefficient. e.t.c. So it saves a lot of time and bother in exams doing calculations. I would imagine it would be similar to S2.
17. I'm not quite sure if mine's worth it, I've only used it for grunt work and checking a few things; but I haven't had an exam opportunity to use it though.

However I'm in a different boat anyway, as I got given mine for free from my school
18. (Original post by hassi94)
I'm not quite sure if mine's worth it, I've only used it for grunt work and checking a few things; but I haven't had an exam opportunity to use it though.

However I'm in a different boat anyway, as I got given mine for free from my school
I don't think the worth it is a problem though. I'll have it, use it for two years and then if I don't really need it on my Uni course i'll just put it back on ebay and recoup some of the outlay.

ilovedubstep:

I'm doing S1 again next year anyway so I'll use it for that. Do you have one? If so what model is it?
19. (Original post by TheBlueNowhere)
I don't think the worth it is a problem though. I'll have it, use it for two years and then if I don't really need it on my Uni course i'll just put it back on ebay and recoup some of the outlay.

ilovedubstep:

I'm doing S1 again next year anyway so I'll use it for that. Do you have one? If so what model is it?
Yeah exactly - it's a luxury that's good to have 'just in case'. Why have anything hold you back in your A-level maths?

I have the Casio FX9750GII+

Was around £50 to the school I think, performs all stat functions, also used it for some transformation of sine/cosine graphs (checking them). Nice to have for further maths to check whether you figured out your roots properly or whatever if you do F. maths.

If money's not too much of an issue then I'd definitely go for it.

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Updated: March 30, 2011
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