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The University of the State of New York
The State Education Department
Albany, New York 12234
Guidelines for Graphing Calculator
Use for Commencement-Level Mathematics
Introduction
Graphing calculators are instrumental in the teaching and learning of mathematics. The use of this
technology should be integrated as an investigative tool at the commencement level to support
conceptual understanding and solve real world mathematics problems. The connections between
graphical and algebraic representation can be enhanced through the use of graphing calculators
and other technological tools, while algebraic and analytical approaches (i.e., pencil and paper
techniques) to solving problems should still be stressed.
This document provides guidance to schools and districts to determine whether the use of a
particular graphing calculator is allowed on a Mathematics Regents Examination or if it provides
an unfair or inappropriate advantage to a student and, therefore, is not allowed.
The graphing calculator should only function as a tool to help students demonstrate their
knowledge and understanding of the Learning Standards being assessed on the Mathematics
Regents Examinations. The graphing calculator should not remove the need for students to
demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of algebraic and geometric properties and
relationships that are being assessed in the particular course.
Restricted Features/Prohibited Functions
Educators should work collectively to determine if a graphing calculator adheres to the guidelines
and does not contain restricted features.
? The calculator must not make use of a Computer Algebraic System (CAS). These
calculators are capable of doing symbolic algebra or symbolic calculus (for example,
factoring, expanding, or simplifying given variable output).
? The calculator must not have measuring capabilities (e.g., segment lengths and area of
polygons), perform transformations, or be able to make geometric constructions.
? Students may not use calculators that can communicate through infrared sensors, nor may
students use operating manuals, instruction or formula cards, or other information
concerning the operation of calculators.
For questions in which the graphing calculator can be used, students should be instructed to show
sufficient work so that their approach to problem-solving can be easily followed. For students to
be awarded the maximum points allowable for a constructed-response question, they should be
able to communicate the method employed by illustrating their graph, table, or setup (equation),
followed by the result of their investigation(s). The answer to the question should also be clearly
identified, often by using a sentence or phrase response. Whenever appropriate, complete
sentences should also be used to support results so that mathematical reasoning can be easily
interpreted.
Please note that schools must make a graphing calculator available for the exclusive use of each
student while taking Regents Examinations in mathematics, and that students are allowed only one
calculator.
The memory of any graphing calculator with programming capability must be cleared, reset, or
disabled when students enter the testing room. If the memory of a student's calculator is
password-protected and cannot be cleared, the calculator must not be used.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Can I use a graphing calculator that can simplify radicals such as 18 or give exact trig values?
-Yes. These features will be allowed.
2) Is there a list of approved calculators that can be used on the Math Regents Exams?
-No. It is the responsibility of each district to make sure any graphing calculator to be used
on a High School Mathematics Regents Exam adheres to the guidelines.
3) A company representative told me a specific calculator model can be used on Math Regents
Exams. Can I assume the calculator is approved?
-No. Although representatives may be helpful in providing explanations of the range of
capabilities for a brand of calculator, it is the responsibility of each district to make sure
any graphing calculator to be used on a High School Mathematics Regents Exam adheres
to the guidelines.
4) My calculator has a Computer Algebra System (CAS). May I use this calculator for the Math
Regents Exams?
-You may not use this calculator unless there is a way to restrict the CAS features that are
prohibited by the guidelines.
5) If I put my calculator in a test mode, does this ensure it is ready for the Math Regents Exams?
-Not necessarily. Although this is generally a good practice, districts must make sure the
final calculator mode adheres to the guidelines.
6) Do the applications (apps) on my calculator need to be removed or turned off for the Math
Regents Exams?
-It is the responsibility of each district to make sure any graphing calculator apps to be used
on a High School Mathematics Regents Exam adhere to the guidelines.
7) My calculator is prompting me to turn off features that I have been using all year when I put it
in test mode. Do I have to turn them off?
-Possibly. It is the responsibility of each district to make sure any graphing calculator
features to be used on a High School Mathematics Regents Exam adhere to the guidelines.
8) I can draw lines and segments on my calculator without using equations. Is this acceptable on
the Math Regents Exams?
-Yes, as long as the lines and segments are drawn by the student. The graphing calculator
must not draw what a student would otherwise need to construct or locate themselves either
algebraically or graphically. For example, the perpendicular bisector of a line segment
must be drawn by the student and not be a result of a graphing calculator function. Please
note that performing calculator regressions and the resulting line of best fit are permissible.
9) My calculator will reflect a figure over the y-axis. Is this allowed on the Math Regents Exam?
-No. Graphing calculators must not perform transformations. This function must be turned
off in order to use this graphing calculator.
10) Our district would like to use graphing calculator software other than a traditional handheld
calculator. Is this allowable?
-Districts may submit requests to the Test Administration Unit within the Office of State
Assessment for consideration. Please call 518-474-5902 or email
emscassessinfo@nysed.gov for more information.
11) Can a student use multiple calculators on a Math Regents Exam?
- No. Each student is allowed only one calculator.
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Calculator Tasks
When taking Mathematics Regents Examinations, some of the tasks students will be expected to
perform using a graphing calculator are:
? Graphing functions in an appropriate viewing window
? Determining key features of functions
? Observing the table of values for a graphed equation
? Solving systems of equations
? Exploring changes and effects on the graph of parent functions
? Performing trigonometric calculations
? Determining a regression equation
? Determining a correlation coefficient
? Determining the standard deviation of a set of data
? Determining population percentages for a normal curve
Expectations for sketches and graphs:
? Same-degree equations are labeled when graphed on the same set of axes
(no deduction if the student fails to label only one graphed equation)
? To show the curvature of nonlinear functions, at least three points should be indicated on
the graph or represented as a table of coordinate values
? Key features are correctly shown
? Scale is stated if not 1 to 1
? Use the full extent of the graph or provide arrows unless a domain is specified
If a student sketches a graph when a grid is not provided, the above criteria for sketches and graphs
still apply.
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Title: Guidelines for Graphing Calculator Use for Commencement-Level Mathematics, 2020
Subject: Guidelines for Graphing Calculator Use for Commencement-Level Mathematics, 2020
Keywords: Guidelines for Graphing Calculator Use for Commencement-Level Mathematics, 2020
Author: New York State Education Department
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