Calculator Policy
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  Teaching and Learning

  Anne Gallagher
  Mathematics Director




Calculator Policy

Please go to our EOC Moodle Supports page to view the Calculator Policy Video.

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

  • Mathematics
    ––grades 7 and 8 (MSP)
    ––grades 7–12 (EOC)
    ––grade-band ES and MS (WAAS-DAPE)
  • Science
    ––grades 5 and 8 (MSP)
    ––grades 10–12 (HSPE)

Calculators are NOT permitted on the following assessments:

  • Mathematics
    ––grades 3-6 (MSP)

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 calculators on grades 3 -6 of the Measurements of Student Progress mathematics assessment must have a Testing Irregularity Report completed and submitted to the State Test Coordinator, via fax (360) 586-2728.

Calculator Use and Restrictions Policy for Grades 7-12
A scientific calculator is sufficient for all items on the Grade 7 and 8 Measurements of Student Progress (MSP), all end-of-course (EOC) mathematics assessments and the Washington Alternate Assessment System-Developmentally Appropriate Proficiency Exam (WAAS-DAPE).

Students need access to the following calculator functions:

  • Exponents
  • Square root
  • Cube root (for all EOC exams)
  • Trigonometric functions (for Geometry/Integrated Mathematics 2 and Retake Year 2)

Students may use any calculator that does not have any of the prohibited features listed below. Proctors are required to verify that calculators are a hand-held device designed for mathematical computations. Proctors 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. Note: A four-function calculator may be used but is not recommended and may not be sufficient for all assessment items.

Allowed Calculators:

  • A scientific calculator
  • 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
    Proctors 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.
  • 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. with the TI-84 Plus keypad and enabled in Press-to-Test mode
    3. 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.
    Proctors 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.

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 graphing calculator must either:

  • have its memory cleared both before and after each testing session, or
  • be used in Press-to-Test mode. Proctors 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.

Proctors 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:

  • 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. Proctors 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 proctor to certify that calculators do not have any of the prohibited features. Failure on the part of the proctor 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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