Calculator Policy

beginning of content:

If you’re taking a Subject Test in Mathematics, bring an approved calculator on test day. Test centers will not provide one.

The only Subjects Tests for which calculators are allowed are Mathematics Level 1 and Mathematics Level 2. You must put it away when not taking a mathematics test. A scientific or graphing calculator is necessary for these tests. We recommend using a graphing calculator rather than a scientific calculator.

Calculator Rules

  • You can only use certain kinds of calculators. See “Approved Calculators” below for details.
  • You can’t share your calculator.
  • If you use your calculators to share or exchange information during the test, or to remove test questions or answers from the test room, you’ll be dismissed and your scores canceled.
  • You won’t be required to clear the memory in your calculator.
  • If you’re using a calculator with a large (characters one inch or more high) or raised display that might be visible to other test-takers, you’ll be seated at the discretion of the test coordinator.

Calculator Tips

  • If you don't use a calculator regularly, practice using it on sample Subject Tests in Mathematics questions before the test. Use a calculator with which you are familiar.
  • 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 select 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. Bring extra batteries in your bag. If your calculator fails during testing and you have no backup, you'll have to complete the test without it or cancel that test.

Approved Calculators

Only battery-operated, handheld equipment can be used for testing. No power cords are allowed. Calculators permitted during testing include:

  • Most graphing calculators
  • All scientific calculators
  • All four-function calculators (not recommended)

For a full list of acceptable calculators, download SAT Subject Tests Student Guide (.pdf/8.4MB).

Unacceptable Calculators

You are not allowed to use any of the following items as a calculator:

  • Laptops or other computers, tablets, cell phones, or smartphones
  • Models that can access the Internet, have wireless, Bluetooth, cellular, audio/video recording and playing, camera, or any other smartphone type feature
  • Models that have a typewriter-like keypad, pen-input, or stylus
  • Models that use electrical outlets, make noise, or have a paper tape
  • Calculator function on a mobile phone
  • In addition, the use of hardware peripherals such as a stylus with an approved calculator is not permitted. Some models with touch-screen capability are not permitted (e.g., Casio ClassPad).