Will they let me use a calculator in college?

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PunkyKat
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07 Jun 2010, 11:33 pm

I somehow convinced my mom to teach me algebra and I am amazed at how easy it is for someone who can't do simple addition in their head. I understand the principle of the question and know how to solve the formula but I need to use a calculator to answer the arithmetic problems in the question. Will the let me use a calculator in college? I'll probably have to be one of the people who takes their tests in a separate room because any slight noise will distract me and some college students aren't the most courteous people in the world (I've heard about people texting in class. You think they ban cell phones from the test areas, but these days hardly any rule is enforced) But is there a way for me to not have a time limit? If I could not use a calculator or have unlimited time, I wouldn't have the first question answered before the test was over. I know how to do the principle but I need a calculator to do the arithmetic problems to get to the answer. Would they let me have unlimited time and use a calculator on the entrance exam and during exams? What about for my MCAT?


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08 Jun 2010, 12:01 am

Most teachers allow calculators for most math classes. You will probably qualify for disabled student services. Talk to the counselor there about your concerns.


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08 Jun 2010, 12:20 am

Hey, I'll try fielding this one, but my knowledge is general. You need to talk to the college you apply to and ask them yourself.

Whether they let you use a calculator in exams depends on the paper. Generally they do, but each paper has different rules and requirements. It is possible for you to apply for special permission, but this is not always granted.

As to extra time, they can grant special permissions for extra time if you apply for it and send them appropriate proof of your need and special circumstances. It's not guaranteed that they will grant extra time; they review the documentation and decide based on that. I've never heard of them approving unlimited time, but who knows.

I don't know anything about the MCAT, but I looked online and found this:

http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/mcatessentials.pdf

Which says similar to what I've been saying. See page 14 for more info. The rubrick is 'accomodations testing' and there's more info on it here:

http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/accom ... /start.htm

I don't know what your personal circumstances are, but applying for this kind of thing is a big step, and requires a lot of thought and consideration.



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08 Jun 2010, 12:21 am

I hope I'm understanding this right... you Americans mean University when you say college, right?



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08 Jun 2010, 2:36 am

In general, yes. However, most Universities will not allow a programmable calculator to avert cheating. At University level, students are expected to be far beyond the trivial "add & subtract" so calculators are just for speed and accuracy. Not a problem.

As for your MCAT (congrats, btw!) - yes, I think so. Again, just for speed/accuracy. But not programmable - just get a cheap caculator with basic functions. The others gave good advice too - check with your advisor (just in case).

I'm a post-grad and have been a TA (chemistry) - expected my students use a calculator in laboratory (Chem 105).

*Just to note: So odd many Aspies are great at higher math but may not be able to balance their own checkbook (who actually does that, btw)?


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Pobodys_Nerfect
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08 Jun 2010, 7:20 am

I'm pretty sure you can have a calc unless it's a very basic maths test. You need it to do the scientific functions. Many top mathematicians are hopeless at arithmetic. It's boring.



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08 Jun 2010, 7:35 am

Most university level math classes require you to have some kind of scientific calculator. I have a math class right now and it is mandatory to have it.


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08 Jun 2010, 11:00 am

Have you taken an ACT yet? That will determine what level math class you're in. If you're in college algebra or higher, than yes...you'll need a scientific calculator. If you're in one of the lower math classes like beginning algebra (with don't count for credit), then I'm not sure. I'm nearly certain that you can, because you're allowed to in high school math classes. You should get services from DSS. I can test in a separate room, sometimes with double time, sometimes with unlimited time. Every vet school I've looked at requires the GRE, which would allow you to use a calculator. If you took the MCAT that would allow a calculator too.


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astaut
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08 Jun 2010, 11:04 am

DrS wrote:
I hope I'm understanding this right... you Americans mean University when you say college, right?


The terms are basically synonymous in the US. In the US, a college offers a collection of degrees but a university has separate colleges. If I went to a university for business I would graduate from their college of business, but if I went to a college I would just graduate with a business degree.


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08 Jun 2010, 7:30 pm

astaut wrote:
DrS wrote:
I hope I'm understanding this right... you Americans mean University when you say college, right?


The terms are basically synonymous in the US. In the US, a college offers a collection of degrees but a university has separate colleges. If I went to a university for business I would graduate from their college of business, but if I went to a college I would just graduate with a business degree.


Yes, but the vital distinction is that a University offers graduate degrees (master's degree, up to Ph.D.) whereas college implies just undergraduate degrees (B.S. or B.A.).


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08 Jun 2010, 7:41 pm

You will be REQUIRED to have a calculator in college math classes.



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08 Jun 2010, 8:01 pm

Yupa wrote:
You will be REQUIRED to have a calculator in college math classes.


Yup, that's true. But for tests (like chemistry, etc) you may not be allowed your programmable calc.


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08 Jun 2010, 8:29 pm

Yupa wrote:
You will be REQUIRED to have a calculator in college math classes.

For most of my math classes (and I am a math major) calculators have been prohibited. In some, calculators have been permitted, but with the professor noting gleefully that they would be of no help to us. In one course, calculators (including programmable graphing calculators) were not only allowed, but encouraged. It depends very much on which school you attend, which specific classes you take, and which professor you have.


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countzarroff
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08 Jun 2010, 11:01 pm

It really depends on the class and the teacher. In the math classes I took, one was required. I haven't had to use it in any other classes seeing how I'm an animation major.



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08 Jun 2010, 11:19 pm

LabPet wrote:
In general, yes. However, most Universities will not allow a programmable calculator to avert cheating. At University level, students are expected to be far beyond the trivial "add & subtract" so calculators are just for speed and accuracy. Not a problem.

As for your MCAT (congrats, btw!)


I need one for the basics addition, subtraction but mostly multiplication/division and basicaly just need a cheap one from the dollar store. I think we should skip teaching kids basic math drills and teach them calculator skills as soon as they can count to ten. I'm not taking an MCAT for at least four more years. If I am not allowed to use a calculator for the addition, subtraction, multiplacation and division, I will fail and will never get into vet school and if I cannot not get into vet school, finishing high school is not worth it to me.


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09 Jun 2010, 4:18 pm

PunkyKat wrote:
I think we should skip teaching kids basic math drills and teach them calculator skills as soon as they can count to ten.


I think the opposite. What's the point of trig/calculus/algebra in the real world? Arithmetic has more use. I'm not against teaching people the new math, but I certainly don't privilege it over useful arithmetic skills.


PunkyKat wrote:
If I am not allowed to use a calculator for the addition, subtraction, multiplacation and division, I will fail and will never get into vet school and if I cannot not get into vet school, finishing high school is not worth it to me.


It's hard enough getting through life without deciding to give up trying when you've barely begun.