The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, who administers the PE Exams, limits the types of calculators that can be used. Only three models are allowed for the 2015 PE Exam:
- All fx-115 Casio models
- Hewlett Packard’s 33s and 35s models
- TI-30X and TI-36X models from Texas Instruments
The list is updated as models change, so it’s a good idea to check by going to NCEES.org.
The Best Calculator for the PE Exam
So while you’re restricted to a Casio, Hewlett Packard, or a Texas Instruments calculator model, you may wonder which is the best calculator for the exam? The answer is simple. It’s the one you used when you were a student. It’s the one you know best. Now if your old friend doesn’t appear on the list, you need to make a new one as soon as possible.
Practice with the Calculator you will use on the Exam
As you prepare for the exam, you should be doing so much more than reviewing old problems. You should be preparing by replicating the conditions as closely as possible. This means that the calculator you use in your preparation should be the same one you will take into the exam. So dust off those functions you used when you were a student. As you work through problems, get familiar with those handy features such as summation, indices, and the exponential.
If I were to take the exam soon, I’d take my HP. It may not be the best choice for everyone, but it’s the best one for me, because I know it best. So make your choice, use it in your preparation, and don’t forget to buy a spare battery!