Calculator Policy
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  Teaching and Learning

  Anne Gallagher
  Mathematics Director




Calculator Policy for Mathematics End-of-Course Exit Exams, Science Assessments, and Collection of Evidence

This page describes the Calculator Policy for the mathematics end-of-course exit exams and science assessments listed below. (For the calculator policy for the Smarter Balanced mathematics assessments, see the Guidelines on Tools, Supports & Accommodations for State Assessments)

Calculators are not required, but approved calculators may be used on the following assessments:

  • Mathematics
    • Year 1 (Algebra/Integrated Mathematics 1) End-of-course Exit Exam (EOC)
    • Year 2 (Geometry/Integrated Mathematics 2) End-of-course Exit Exam (EOC)
    • Mathematics Collection of Evidence (COE)
  • Science
    • Science Measurements of Student Progress (MSP), grades 5 and 8
    • Biology End-of-course (EOC)
    • Biology Collection of Evidence (COE)

Calculator Use and Restrictions Policy

  • Students should be thoroughly familiar with the operation of the calculator they plan to use on the assessment. This includes calculators provided by the classroom or school.
  • Students must not use calculator memories to take secure test content out of the room. Students who attempt to remove secure test content from the room by any method will have their test scores invalidated.
  • Calculators may not be shared and communication between calculators is prohibited during testing.
  • Calculators must operate in silent mode.

Unapproved use of a calculator may create undue advantage for a student. Students who use unapproved calculators or use a calculator on an assessment for which a calculator is not allowed must have a Testing Irregularity Report completed and submitted to the State Test Coordinator, via fax (360) 586-2728.

Allowed Calculators:

  • A scientific calculator
    NOTE: A scientific calculator is sufficient for all items on all assessments.
  • A non-CAS graphing calculator, with memory cleared both BEFORE and AFTER each test session
    NOTE: The TI-85 is not recommended due to programming errors in certain mathematical algorithms
  • A non-CAS graphing calculator, enabled in Press-to-Test mode:
    • TI-84+
    • TI-Nspire without CAS
    • TI-Nspire calculators without CAS are allowed only in the following three cases:
    1. with the TI-84 Plus keypad and the memory cleared
    2. OR
    3. with the TI-84 Plus keypad and enabled in Press-to-Test mode
    4. OR
    5. with the Nspire keypad using operating system 1.7 or higher with both "Limit geometry functions" and "Disable function grab and move" invoked in Press-to-Test mode.

Test Administrators must invoke Press-to-Test mode at the beginning of each test session and exit Press-to-Test mode at the end of each test session.

NOTE: For mathematics assessments, students need access to the following calculator functions:

  • Exponents
  • Square root
  • Cube root
  • Trigonometric functions (for Geometry/Integrated Mathematics 2 EOC)

Note: A four-function calculator may be used but is not recommended and may not be sufficient for all assessment items.

Calculator Memory Clearing Policy Students with memory-enabled calculators are not allowed to bring stored examples into the exam, access programs during testing, or take out the exam questions afterwards. For this reason, a memory-enabled calculator must either:

  • have its memory cleared both before and after each testing session
  • OR
  • be used in Press-to-Test mode. Test Administrators must invoke Press-to-Test mode at the beginning of each test session and exit Press-to-Test mode at the end of each test session.

Test Administrators are required to check calculators before the exam and disable any stored programs and applications on all calculators by either clearing the memory both before and after the exam or by invoking Press-to-Test mode. Please be advised that clearing the calculator memory will delete stored programs or applications; students should be told prior to the test day to store all data and software they wish to save on a computer or a calculator not being used for the test.

If a calculator can neither have its memory cleared nor be enabled in Press-to-Test mode prior to test administration, students are not permitted to use that calculator during the assessment.

The following specific devices are not allowed on state assessments: Computer, PowerBook and portable/hand-held computer calculators, pocket organizers, electronic writing pads or pen-input/stylus-driven devices, instruments with QWERTY keyboards, cell phone and iPod calculators.

Prohibited Calculator Devices and Features Students may use any calculator that does not have any of the prohibited features listed below. Test Administrators are required to verify that calculators are a hand-held device designed for mathematical computations. Test Administrators must clear calculator memory both before and after each testing session. Students should be familiar with the operation of their calculators and know when the calculator can be used effectively. It is also important that students understand that while they are allowed to use calculators, it is still essential that they show all of their work when responding to short-answer items.

  • Any device with cell phone or text messaging capability
  • Any device with camera, scanning, or audio/video recording capabilities
  • Any device with a digital audio/video player
  • Any device with wireless or Bluetooth capability or that can access the Internet
  • Calculators that can communicate wirelessly with other calculators (i.e. infrared capabilities)
  • Calculators with memory disks
  • Pocket organizers or personal digital assistants
  • Hand-held or laptop computers
  • Electronic writing pads with input devices such as touch screen, pen or stylus
  • Calculators with QWERTY keyboards or keypads as part of hardware or software
  • Calculators with paper tape
  • Calculators that "talk" or make audible sounds
  • Calculators that require an electrical outlet
  • Graphing calculator programs
  • Hardware peripherals used with any calculator
  • Calculators with an algebraic operating system (CAS or Computer Algebra System)

Some examples of specific calculator models prohibited include the following:

  • Calculators built into cellular phones, iPods or other wireless communication devices
  • Casio: CFX-9970G series, Algebra FX 2.0, and ClassPad 300
  • Hewlett-Packard: HP-40G, HP-48gll series, HP-49G series, and HP-50G series
  • Texas Instruments: TI-89 series, TI-92 series, Voyage 200, TI-Nspire CAS

This list is not exhaustive and non-listed calculators should be checked for the stated prohibited functionalities. Test Administrators are required to disallow the use of any calculator with the prohibited features. If students are permitted to use their own calculators, it is the responsibility of the Test Administrator to certify that calculators do not have any of the prohibited features. Failure on the part of the Test Administrator to verify that each calculator meets the above requirements will constitute a test irregularity and may invalidate the student's test score.


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