Calculator apps to use on the ACT?

Which apps or important features should I get on my new calculator? I know our math teacher this past school year gave us numerous apps throughout the year that my calculator did not originally have. I can't remember if I actually used any on the ACT, but I felt they were nice to have. Are there any questions I can expect where a certain app would help me easily do the work? I want my calculator to be fully ready for the test!

I would say that overall it's not advisable to download any calculator apps for use on the ACT. The ACT has a strict policy against calculator apps and other programs that have CAS (Computer Algebra System) functionality. According to the ACT:

"A computer algebra system typically solves equations algebraically, simplifies expressions, performs algebraic manipulations, and performs exact arithmetic (for example, does not round or truncate decimal places). A computer algebra system is also a system, potentially doing many levels of analysis at the same time. Examples include, but are not limited to, Zoom-Math, APP4MATH, F2K, etc."

The ACT's response to the question "Are apps allowed?" is:

"Apps that have CAS functionality must be removed as well. Even though your calculator may have separate buttons or places to store apps versus programs, an app is a kind of program."

Any apps that don't have CAS capabilities are ok, but I'm not sure if there are any that fall into that category and would still be helpful. The ACT advises students to delete any programs or apps that could potentially violate the no-CAS policy. The only acceptable apps and programs are "single-purpose – for example, finding numeric solutions to a quadratic equation."

Based on what the ACT says about apps and programs, I would advise you not to waste your time outfitting your calculator for the test. Because it's so fast-paced, you should instead spend time learning how to do problems without relying on your calculator as a crutch.


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