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People having different reasons why they take the Professional Engineer (P.E) licensing exam. For some, passing the exam may be a job requirement while others take the P.E exam as a means to getting a job or a promotion in their current job. Your competitive juices or the inner drive in you to be the best that you can be can also be a reason for taking the exam.
Whatever your reason, one thing is for certain, you need to get one of the approved calculators for the test to facilitate your success towards this highly cherished prize in the engineering profession.
In this article, we will review some of the best calculators for the P.E exam available in the market today. In addition to that, we will also look at some of the considerations that you need to take during the buying process to get the best calculator that can help you in your quest for success in your P.E exam.
How to choose a P.E exam calculator
When in search of the best calculator to use on the exam, then you should be considerate about a few points. These include;
Take a known and trustworthy brand
Consider a product from a well established and trustworthy brand in the market. With a known brand, you are likely to get reviews and tutorials to help you solve any issues that you may have in the future. Trustworthy brands come with a warranty and a guarantee which will go a long way in boosting your confidence in the quality and functionality of your calculator. The chances of getting a malfunctioning calculator from known brands are usually minimal.
Take a graphing calculator
A good calculator for the P.E exam should be able to give you the most accessible interface to work with. A graphing calculator will thus be the most ideal as it comes with no complex functions and gives you easy features to operate with.
Familiarize with your calculator
When writing exams, time seems to quickly pass. It is vital that you understand the full potential of the calculator and to figure out how to find its functions, in-built features, and commands quickly. Exams are all about time thus time management is key. Using a calculator for the first time during an exam is bound to waste time. Identify and buy your calculator well in advance so that you get enough time to start practicing. Use the calculator while studying and take practice exams so that you are able to understand it thoroughly.
Review of Best Calculator For PE Exam
1. Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/Scientific Calculator
If you are searching for the best calculator to help an Engineer out during examinations, there are compelling reasons to choose the TI-36X Pro Engineering calculator. This is an exceptionally powerful device that boasts of one of the easiest to use interfaces. Among the device’s top perks is that it provides a range of graphing calculator features on a scientific calculator platform.
This calculator should not be confused with the standard TI-36X that is mainly ideal for high school students. However, scientific and engineering students appreciate having an almost familiar device that can do so much more than solve and polynomial equations. With this product, you get advanced math features to solve derivatives for calculus and definite integrals.
Moreover, performing a range of operations within the screen is easy-peasy. With matrices edited in a multi-view window and a selection of even vectors and complex numbers, you can solve just about any engineering problem without much hassle. This model is designed to simplify radicals, find exact trig values, and generally offer a range of desired functions in a slicker user interface.
- Powerful scientific calculator with several graphing calculator features
- MultiView display
- Displays symbols, stacked fractions, and math expressions in textbook form
- Perfect device for engineering, geometry, statistics, trigonometry, and calculus
- Sleek user interface
- Limited equation dimensions
2. FX-115ESPLUS Casio FX115ESPLUS Scientific Calculator
Finding an affordable yet effective entry-level scientific calculator can be an uphill task. It is crucial to tread carefully in a market full of half-baked devices before choosing what to purchase. The Casio FX115ESPLUS Scientific Calculator is a real gem at the price point. It offers an impressive amount of features that you are only likely to find in premium scientific calculators.
Like the TI-36X Pro, this device too is easy to use with an intuitive platform. It also offers the textbook look of expressions, stacked fractions, and math symbols, making it easier for you to input complex equations and read outputs on the screen.
Something else that users appreciate is that the powerful device only weighs 3.35 ounces. It is a relief for students who carry around heavy books because the calculator will not add much to their backpacks’ weight. Don’t let the weight fool you; this is still a well-made device with the typical plastic keys and hard, impact-resistant cover for safekeeping.
- Lightweight calculator with a solid build
- Over 280 functions for your convenience
- Multi-replay function for checking out previous calculations and editing inputs
- Both solar and battery-powered
- LCD display for enhanced visibility
- Natural Display function
- Calculation history is lost if you power off the device or switch between modes
3. HEWLETT PACKARD HP 35s Scientific Calculator
For die-hard HP fans searching for an advanced calculator crafted with engineers and working professionals in mind, look no further than the HP 35s Scientific Calculator. Compared to the two models we have reviewed so far, this one goes for nearly double the cost, but for a good reason. One of its top perks is that it offers the RPN (Reverse Polish Notation) mode.
In case you are not a big fan of RPN mode, all is not lost. This calculator also provides the algebraic entry-system logic mode. This gives it an edge over other scientific calculators, which often offer one, but rarely both of these modes. Even with the higher price tag, this device is a darling to medical professionals, engineers, surveyors, scientists, and other highly skilled experts.
While this is an almost perfect scientific calculator, it has a few annoying downsides. First, it lacks an eye-angled display, and this makes scanning the display a challenge. Users have also pointed out that the device is prone to skipping entries if you type keys too fast.
- Excellent memory
- Offers both algebraic entry-system logic and RPN modes
- Sleek and lightweight design
- Superior programmability
- Excellent key size for lesser typos
- Intuitive keyboard layout
- You may skip entries if you type too fast
4. Texas Instruments TI-30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator
Texas Instruments is a name that commands respect in the best calculator realm. We could not help but list another top-rated PE exam calculator from the brand— Texas Instruments TI-30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator. This model may not have as many features as the TI-36X Pro, although it still ranks high for having more than just a scientific calculator’s standard features.
One of the best features is the screen that offers a four-line display, giving you plenty of room to do both basic and complicated calculations. This device also has the MATHPRINT that allows you to print math expressions as they appear in textbooks. The best part is that it can also simplify expressions by maintaining them in their fractional or radical form.
If you want a user-friendly scientific calculator that has just the right array of features to get the job done, this is a model we highly recommend. It is perfect for solving all kinds of problems when doing general math, statistics, chemistry, Algebra, engineering, and general science.
- Offers the MATHPRINT functionality
- Huge, four-line display
- Excellent memory (stores work even after an automatic shutdown)
- Durable with solid build
- Easy to control display contrast
- Allows scrolling through previous inputs
- Somewhat bulky design
5. (CASIO) Scientific Calculator (FX-991ESPLUS)
Here is another calculator approved for use during PE exams by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). The FX-991ESPLUS Scientific Calculator from Casio may not be the cheapest option out there, although its functions and features assure you of optimal bang for your bucks. Multiple users have claimed that this is the best scientific calculator for engineering and technology students.
This device is just what you need to solve basic and advanced math problems in mere minutes. It allows intuitive operations and even offers a textbook-based display, enabling you to view formulas, logarithms, and even fractions as they appear in textbooks. The display capabilities of the device alone can cut the stress of solving mathematical problems by half.
You should consider investing in this calculator if you are a professional. It is functional and practical, with 552 different functions for your convenience. We also liked that the device has a temporary formula memory that makes it easy to review your input.
- Allows Natural Textbook Display
- User-friendly with an icon-based menu
- NCEES approved
- Supports 552 functions
- Approved for other major exams like the ACT, SATs, PSAT, and AP
- Formulas are lost once the device is turned off
Best Calculator For PE Exam Final word
Every engineer needs a reliable calculator. It makes all the difference for engineers. From making understandable decisions to bringing accuracy in math. A good calculator is one that will not be barred by the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveying (NCEES). In today’s list, we have narrowed down to the five best calculators for PE exam hoping that you find the information useful for picking your ideal calculator.
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