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If your child is enrolled in a math course, they'll likely be asked to bring a calculator to school. While most of us now use calculators on our smartphones, the need for a handheld calculator is still there for many students. Whether you have a child in elementary school or you're preparing to enroll in college, calculators can make life easier. Read on to learn more about these handy tools and what makes them unique.

Simple Calculator

The calculator on your smartphone is probably what you use to do quick math. However, many schools still ban the use of phones in the classroom, which means you'll need to purchase a calculator for your child. You can find calculators in a variety of formats that suit every age group and every math level. If you want something without batteries, a solar calculator is an excellent choice. Keep in mind if you buy a solar calculator that the batteries may run out while your child is in the middle of an important test or class if they don't keep it fully charged.

Choosing Calculators

Simple, basic calculators perform regular functions like adding, dividing, and subtracting. But for more complex math problems, you may need to purchase a scientific calculator. These small electronics can perform a variety of complex functions that are often used in approximately 90% of math classes. For more complex courses such as calculus, a graphing calculator is required. This type of calculator is used for pre-calculus and calculus, and it's also allowed for use while taking the ACT and SAT tests. Graphing calculators are also used in engineering courses and college-level math courses.

Best Calculator For You

Whether it's for yourself or for your child, it's important to make sure you choose the right type of calculator for your needs. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you get a good calculator that will perform the tasks you need and last a long time:

  • Avoid solar calculators unless you only need one occasionally. Battery-powered calculators are recommended for students and professionals.
  • Choose a calculator that includes a sturdy carrying case. This will protect the calculator and keep the screen from breaking if it gets dropped by accident.
  • Ask your child's teacher which type of calculator they recommend for classes this year. If possible, buy a scientific calculator now so your child can continue to use the same one throughout the rest of their school years.
  • Always read the instruction manual that comes with your calculator to help you understand all of the different commands.

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