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Calculator Use & Specifications

Faculty of Engineering Calculator Policy

Policy on Calculators in Examinations

The Faculty of Engineering has adopted a policy for undergraduate courses whereby only certain makes and models of calculators are allowed in midterm and final examinations. This is to provide a level playing field for all students and preclude devices with communications capabilities.

Any calculator taken into an examination must have a sticker identifying it as an acceptable programmable calculator (green sticker) or non-programmable calculator (gold sticker). Students can purchase calculators at the University Bookstore with the stickers already affixed. Calculators purchased elsewhere can be brought to the Dean's Office where the appropriate sticker will be affixed to the calculator.

As part of every course syllabus, instructors must indicate one of the following examination calculator policies for the course:

No calculators permitted

or

Only approved non-programmable calculators permitted

or

Approved programmable or approved non-programmable calculators permitted

Given the cost of the programmable calculators, instructors should give careful consideration to the need for these in an examination before choosing the third option. In addition, instructors who choose the third option must make accommodations in the rules for the examination in an effort to offset any disadvantage which students without programmable calculators might encounter. Accommodations for all students may include the use of reference books or materials and/or formula sheets and the assignment of relatively few or no marks to final numerical answers.


Timeframe and Details of Policy Implementation

The 2005/2006 academic year was the first year for this policy to apply to all undergraduate courses offered in the Faculty. This includes 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 level undergraduate courses. All undergraduate students now require approved calculators with identifying stickers.

Calculator Specifications

Buying a new Calculator?
The Faculty of Engineering has a policy in place to determine which calculators are able to be used in midterm and final exams for all undergraduate courses. The policy is in place to ensure fairness on exams and that students are not using calculators that have communications abilities.

The policy considers calculators to be either programmable or non-programmable. Individual instructors then determine which of the following three options they will allow students to use during exams:

  1. Approved programmable or non-programmable calculators
  2. Approved non-programmable calculators only
  3. No calculators during examinations.

This information will be indicated on the course syllabus that is provided by each instructor at the beginning of every course.

Any calculator taken into an examination must have a sticker identifying it as an approved programmable (green sticker) or approved non-programmable calculator (gold sticker). Students can purchase calculators at the University Book Store with stickers already affixed to them or can bring calculators purchased elsewhere to the Faculty of Engineering Student and Co-op Services Office (2-300 Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering) where the appropriate sticker will be affixed to the calculator.

Approved Non-Programmable Calculators:

These models are all approximately $20

  • Hewlett Packard Model HP 10S, HP 10S+
  • CASIO FX-115MS Plus or CASIO FX-115ES Plus ◊
  • Texas Instruments Model TI-30X IIB, TI-30X IIS or TI-30XS MultiView
  • Texas Instruments Model TI-36X Pro (recommended by ESS)

◊ Recommended for students in Electrical and Computer Engineering programs because of the complex number capability.

Approved Programmable Calculators:

These models are all approximately $100 and up.

Recommended Texas Instrument Models TI-83 Plus & Higher

  • TI-83 Plus
  • TI-83 Plus Silver Edition
  • TI-84 Plus
  • TI-84 Plus Silver Edition
  • TI-Nspire CAS
  • TI-Nspire CAS (with touchpad)
  • TI-Nspire CX
  • TI-89 Titanium
  • Voyage 200

Note on programmable calculators: Given the cost of the programmable calculators, the Faculty of Engineering recommends that instructors should give careful consideration to the need for these calculators in examinations. Additionally, instructors who choose to allow programmable calculators must make accommodations in the rules for the examination in an effort to offset any disadvantage which students without programmable calculators might encounter. Accommodations for all students may include the use of reference books or materials and/or formula sheets and the assignment of relatively few or no marks to final numerical answers.