15 Best Graphing and Scientific Calculators For College Algebra |  Ranking

 
In today’s world, calculators in schools are just as common as computers.

The electronic calculator has evolved from a machine that could only perform simple four-function operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) nearly forty years ago to one that can now execute highly technical algebraic symbolic manipulations instantly and accurately. 

In this article, we introduce the best graphing and scientific calculators for college algebra. 

What Are The Types of Calculators For Students

#1. Graphing Calculator

College students frequently use graphing calculators. These are small computers that can carry out a variety of functions. This calculator can plot graphs and solve equations.

Because of their computing power, graphing calculators are essential, and many colleges recommend them. Because of their various functions, graphing calculators get used for a variety of purposes. Graphic calculators are also simple to use, long-lasting, and capable of performing a wide range of functions.

When purchasing a graphic calculator, ensure that it has all of the features you require, such as screen size and buttons. This calculator can be useful instead of using Excel sheets for graphs.

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#2. Scientific Calculator

In college, scientific calculators are also used. These are the most effective calculators for mathematical tasks. Scientific calculators, as opposed to graphing calculators, are relatively inexpensive. Even on a tight budget, you can get a good scientific calculator.

Scientific calculators may not solve complex problems or perform computations in the same way that graphing calculators do, but they are still useful. You will, however, appreciate the compact size and portability of these scientific calculators.

#3. CAS Calculator

CAS calculators are great for algebra. Because they have a computer algebra system, these are the best calculators for college algebra. A CAS calculator does not have much use for basic-level math questions.

People who want to solve high-level equations that require a lot of expertise should use CAS calculators. These calculators are quite expensive, so make sure you have a good budget before purchasing the best CAS calculator.

#4. Non-Graphing Calculators

These are the most affordable calculators available. Simple math equations are best solved with non-graphing calculators. These are ten-digit calculators that are practical but straightforward.

They are also strong and long-lasting. It will take a lot to damage these calculators, and they can withstand any punishment. These are the most effective calculators for beginners.


What Are The Impacts of Calculators on College Students

  • Although calculators—from simple four-function models to programmable graphing models—are commonly used outside of school for a variety of purposes, their use in the mathematics classroom must be selective and strategic, with consideration given to how such a tool will support and advance learning.
  • Calculators do not replace the need for students to develop proficiency with efficient, accurate methods of mental and pencil-and-paper calculation, as well as making reasonable estimates. The critical issues are emphasis and implementation—when and for what purposes should calculators serve?
  • When calculators get used for pedagogical purposes other than drill and practice or checking work, student learning of mathematical concepts, processes, operations, and procedures gets advanced.
  • The availability of calculators does not diminish the need for students to develop paper-and-pencil and mental methods. Calculators, on the other hand, play an important role in developing students’ fluency with numbers and operations, as well as estimation skills, when used appropriately. Furthermore, strategic calculator use promotes an effective learning environment that fosters a positive attitude toward mathematics.
  • Calculators used strategically in class assist students in communicating mathematically and making necessary connections across mathematics concepts and procedures as well as in real-world situations.

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What Are The Pros and Cons of Using Calculators

Our society has a division on whether students should use calculators at such a young age. The benefits are offset by the drawbacks. There are both positive and negative aspects to the debate.

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Pros of Using a Calculator Include;

  • This technology enables students to solve complex problems quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, it can simplify the problem and allow the student to devote more time to understanding the problem.
  • This liberates them from tedious calculations and the same tedious mundane procedure. This in turn helps students to avoid boredom, and not demoralize their mathematical understanding. 
  • When teachers recognize that some of their students’ mathematical abilities have limits, using this handheld device or online calculator platform allows them to efficiently manage addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems.
  • Most handheld or online calculators are relatively inexpensive, with various designs and functionality to suit a variety of budgets. They are also inexpensive to maintain if handled properly. 

Cons of Using a Calculator Include;

  • The Calculator comes in a variety of brands, and each brand and model has its own set of instructions. It is a well-known fact that many of us do not bother to read these manuals, and thus get lost. Even though the instructions are straightforward, students may make mistakes. A minor error can lead to an incorrect answer.
  • The availability of graphic calculators has made cheating on tests easier for students. These calculators, in addition to performing basic mathematical operations, allow you to save information such as notes, formulas, and so on.
  • While the cost of a simple calculator is not prohibitively expensive, graphing calculators are. Furthermore, these calculators require batteries to function, which is a recurring cost.

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15 Best Graphing And Scientific Calculators For College Algebra

Here are the best calculators for college algebra; 

#1. Texas Instruments Nspire CX II CAS Graphing Calculator

This is one of the best calculators for college algebra. This is especially true if you want to explore symbolic algebra and symbolic calculus, in addition to standard numerical calculations.

It’s an excellent tool for performing step-by-step arithmetic, algebraic, and calculus calculations. This is the thinnest and lightest TI graphing calculator model to date.

It has a high-resolution, full-color display that makes numbers, lines, and variables easy to see. A professional device in the field of solving pre-algebraic, algebra 1 and 2, and calculus problems.

It also includes a built-in Computer Algebra System (CAS), which makes solving algebraic problems simple. Overall, the Nspire CX CAS is a complete package that includes everything you need to solve algebra problems.

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#2. Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator


This is one of the best calculators for college algebra that is easy to use. It’s used for advanced data analysis with graphs that range from algebra to pre-calculus. It has a clear and readable display on the LCD screen that can show 12 characters and eight lines.

It’s FLASH ROM allows you to update or add software apps. This device is simple to use and ideal for beginners who want to learn how to use a graphing calculator.

This calculator transfers files and data from the calculator to your computer using TI-Graph Link (software and cable). Because of these factors, the TI-83 Plus has quickly become one of the best calculators for college algebra in the United States and Canada.

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#3. Casio FX115ESPLUS Scientific Calculator

Casio FX115ESPLUS is one of the Casio brand’s most advanced and practical calculators. It has a Natural Textbook Display, which displays numbers and symbols in textbook format.

It comes with a hard case to protect it from damage. Having this feature, as well as powering from solar and battery energy, ensures the device’s long life. This calculator helps students with general math, trigonometry, statistics, algebra 1 and 2, Calculus, engineering, and physics problems.

As a result, the Casio FX115ESPLUS can help you improve your math performance when solving algebraic problems! It is one of the best calculators for college algebra. 

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#4. Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/Scientific Calculator

The TI-36X Pro is appropriate for students of all skill levels, from high school algebra to college calculus. This calculator offers numerous benefits while remaining reasonably priced.

Its MultiView display allows it to display multiple calculations on the screen at the same time with the MathPrint feature, it displays all expressions and symbols as they appear in textbooks. It is an excellent tool for solving algebraic equations as well as algebra 1 and 2 problems.

The TI-36X Pro is the best choice for curricula that do not allow graphing technology. It is one of the best calculators for college algebra. 

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#5. Helect 2-Line Engineering Scientific Calculator

Helect 2-Line Engineering Scientific Calculator is one of the best calculators for college algebra. It has 12-digit widescreen HD display numbers and calculations. This device’s 2-line display allows you to see both inputs and results at the same time.

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This device is efficient and rarely makes mistakes when performing calculations. Its design is scratch-resistant, and it has a solid sliding protective case that reduces the possibility of device damage.

You will no longer need an expensive calculator to perform algebraic calculations with the Helect 2-Line Engineering Scientific Calculator!

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#6. Sharp EL-W516TBSL Advanced Scientific Calculator

The Sharp EL-W516TBSL 16-digit is one of the best calculators for college algebra, and it’s packed with features. It has a four-line display, is battery and solar-powered, and can perform 640 functions in seven different modes.

Its Write View display is especially appealing because it allows users to see the expressions, fractions, and symbols they are entering on paper.

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#7. HP Prime Graphing Calculator

The HP Prime graphing calculator may be a lesser-known and less-popular graphing calculator than Texas Instruments calculators, but it appears that some of its impressive features are sometimes overlooked.

It is simple to use but also has a plethora of features. While it may not be ideal for someone who is only casually interested in math, it is ideal for the student who wants a calculator that they can grow into.

It may have too many advanced features for a high school college course, but it scales well for college algebra, calculus, engineering, and beyond.

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#8. Texas Instruments TI-89 Graphing Calculator

This calculator is an older model, but it’s tested, tried, and true. It is not only one of the best calculators for college algebra but also a great calculator for anyone considering work in statistics or engineering.

The TI-89 Graphing Calculator can perform everything from basic math functions to some of the most advanced calculations a calculator can perform.

It is an excellent calculator for students who want to use a single calculator throughout high school and college but do not require all of the extra features that some of the newer calculators provide.

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#9. Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE

The TI-84 Plus CE Graphing Calculator is one of the best calculators for college algebra. More than a dozen applications, including inequality graphing, correct math notation, and data collection, get preloaded on it. The thin, lightweight design has a high-resolution, full-color backlit display and a sleek design.

The graphing calculator is also available in a variety of colors, including black, pink, white, coral, gold, mint, gray, and blue, so you can find one that matches your personality. The full-color screen improves the display experience by adding color-coded equations, plots, and objects to make graphs easier to read.

The TI-84 Plus CE comes with a rechargeable battery, which eliminates the need to go to the store to buy batteries. It also means that you ensure that your graphing calculator is fully charged before class and, especially, before taking standardized college tests.

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#10. Casio FX-9750GII

The Casio FX-9750GII Graphic Calculator has all of the basic functionality of an entry-level graphing calculator, making it ideal for math classes ranging from Pre-Algebra to AP Calculus and Statistics, and everything in between (like Geometry and Trigonometry).

The icon-based menu simplifies navigation for students. The FX-9750GII also includes several soft menus for quick access to common task functionality. The high-resolution LCD features enlarged-dot area technology, which improves visuals by making lines and curves sharper and easier to see and understand.

The high-speed CPU quickly and accurately process lengthy calculations and complex graphs, which is critical during testing when every second counts. All this makes it one of the best calculators for college algebra. 

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#11. Casio FX-9860GII

The Casio FX-9860GII has an oversized, high-resolution display that makes viewing the graphs and data displays on the calculator screen much easier.

In addition, the backlit display feature improves visibility. The calculus calculator has a wide range of math equations and is one of the best calculators for college algebra. 

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#12. Casio PRIZM FX-CG50


Released in 2025, the Casio PRIZM FX-CG50 Graphing Calculator is one of the best calculators for college algebra. This is the most recent PRIZM model from the company, so you know you’re getting the best features.

It has a high-resolution LCD screen with over 65,000 colors and 82,000 pixels and a natural textbook display. It’s used in high school and college math classes, as well as in finance and business.

This graphing calculator, besides the ability to create 3D graphing designs, includes Python programming and picture plot technology for displaying real-life images. It is also reasonably priced and simple to use, thanks to an icon-based menu.

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#13. Texas Instruments TI-89 Titanium CAS.


.With the Texas Instruments TI-89 Titanium CAS Graphing Calculator, you can perform more complex calculus and algebra functions. It has a large, 100 x 160-pixel display, 3D graphing, and even a split-screen view function, as well as a generous 2.7 MB flash memory.

Even better, it comes with a one-year warranty and a USB cable for sharing files with other calculators or connecting to computers.

Its advanced features, such as a Computer Algebra System (CAS) for solving most equations, make it ideal for engineers and physicists. It is also one of the best calculators for college algebra. 

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#14. Texas Instruments TI-30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator.

The TI-30XS MultiView is a precise and dependable scientific calculator with excellent algebraic calculation capabilities.

This calculator allows you to perform and view multiple calculations at the same time. Its display is simple, and its buttons are simple to operate.

Despite its low price, the TI-30XS MultiView can solve complex problems. It is one of the best calculators for college algebra. 

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#15. Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS 2-Line Scientific Calculator.

The Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS Scientific Calculator is both versatile and inexpensive. Two-line display shows both the entry and the calculated results.

It can perform operations with both fractions and mixed numbers; you can enter fractions exactly as they appear in the textbook, with no conversions required. It is one of the best calculators for college algebra. 

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How to Work on Algebra on a Casio calculator?

In the world of calculators, CASIO and TEXAS INSTRUMENTS are the companies that hold most of the market share. Nevertheless, Casio provides an extensive choice of calculators for an affordable price. The Casio Fx series got developed with algebra in mind.

Equation solvers that are in these devices give you the ability to solve arbitrary equations besides linear and polynomial ones.

To be more specific, the successor models of the CFX9970g are being released with enhanced capabilities of the equation solver. They can consider up to 30 different variables simultaneously.

In a similar vein, the Computer Algebra System (CAS) found in recently released devices is capable of performing operations such as expansion, factorization, and collection of algebraic expressions.

Besides this, they can work on the sum and product of sequences, as well as computer differentiation, integration, limits, and Taylor series, among other mathematical operations.

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What Are The Uses of a Graphing Calculator?

#1. Algebraic equations

Even though it is rarely required, it is appropriate to use a graphing calculator in first-year algebra. Students can better visualize concepts like basic function graphing, polynomials, quadratics, and inequalities when they can write out the equations and use an electronic input.

Algebra doesn’t really need a calculator, but using one helps reinforce concepts and familiarizes students with the tool’s buttons and basic functions.

Second-year algebra students must master calculator-friendly skills such as sequence graphing, tables, and matrix comprehension and creation.

#2. Geometry and Calc

Geometry comes next in the typical student’s math career. This is where concepts like angle types and hyperbolic functions are the king. These abilities can get transferred from paper to screen using a good graphing calculator.

A standard graphing calculator can also help you learn parametric graphing, polar graphing, and other skills. These calculations are nearly impossible to perform with pencil and paper, and by saving your work in your calculator, you can easily return to working on problems after a break.

#3. Trigonometry

A graphing calculator can perform trigonometry functions, such as calculating the amplitude, period, and phase shift of a standard graph.

Because trigonometry concepts get used in 5 to 10% of ACT math problems and up to 20% of SAT math problems, it’s a good idea to practice with your graphing calculator before taking the test.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is a scientific calculator required for college algebra? 

Every student needs an advanced graphing calculator because of the advanced level of calculations in algebra courses that you will perform in high school and college algebra.

Are calculators used in college algebra?

Yes, many teachers permit students to use TI graphing calculators on class tests. Graphing calculators are actually permitted, if not required, on many college entrance exams and state exams.

What type of calculators do they use in college?

The College Board only allows battery-powered, handheld calculators.

Is a scientific calculator useful for statistics?

It has outstanding features and functions as a scientific notation calculator. Numeric integration and differentiation are one of them.

What is the distinction between graphing and a scientific calculator?

Scientific calculators aid in the study of algebra, engineering, and statistics. A graphing calculator is a scientific calculator that has a high-resolution screen and can plot coordinates and graph functions.

Are graphing calculators still used by students?

The graphing calculator remains a required standard for millions of American middle and high school students.

Conclusion

The calculators listed above are all approved by users and are among the best options for calculating algebra problems.

If you are taking the College Algebra exam and need a great calculator to practice according to your needs, each of these can be a good option.

We hope that by writing this article; we have been able to help you improve your preparation for the College Algebra exam.

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