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FE Calculator Opinions

Which calculator to use on exam?   185 members have voted

  1. 1. Which calculator to use on FE exam?


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75 posts in this topic

I prefer ES because if you are using complex numbers it will give you the real part and imaginary part on the same display..same with polar form...with the MS it will give you real part and to get the imaginary part you have to press other buttons to get the imaginary part

I also try to solve for X using their SOLVE function on the MS and gives me a math error...solve the same equation using the ES and comparing character with character and no problem it solved for X using the ES

I recomend the ES over MS. However i used the MS for the FE...by that time the ES was dificult to find in the stores....then i used the ES for the PE

(null)

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I used FX-115ES for both FE and PE. I used it extensively for FE exam because of real and imaginary parts display. Also, this is where I used it for matrices, quad. equations and for probability and stats.

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Which Casio is more preferred? And why?

FX-115ES

or

FX-115MSPlus

The ES has greater capability; matrix (up to 3x3) & vector operations, and being able to generate a results table from an inputted function for example. It also has scientific constants & metric conversions available. The MS does not. Both are good, just the ES does more while costing not much more. Not really sure why the MS is still even around.

The ES actually did fall off the ncees approved list one year (2007 I think), I never really understood why, but its been on it since then I believe.

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I got through the FE and PE with the Casio fx-115. I did not know half the functions the calc could do but understanding the basic functions obviously was enough for me to pass

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I used the TI-30X IIS on both the FE and PE and didn't have any problems with getting through the exam. It doesn't have any complex number manipulations that I know of, but then again, I didn't need to rely on that function while preparing or taking the exam.

That's what I thought I remembered, so I would warn EEs to stay away from the TIs.

Can't speak for other disciplines, but I strongly agree that for electrical (FE and especially the PE) the Casio FX-115ES is the way to go. I used TI calculators for years, but mainly the graphing calculators which do handle complex numbers. Because of the people on this website I gave the Casio a try. They were so right about it. There was almost no learning curve, you can enter expressions (including integrals) just as they are written on paper, you can enter complex numbers in either polar or rectangular form (even mixing the two forms in the same expression!) and easily switch the answer back and forth. The only gripe I have about it is there is a very slight lag when you hit the keys, so don't enter numbers too quickly or it won't register. I purchased 3 of these, got a 90 on the PE exam, and still use them almost every day.

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I figured I would throw in my two cents. I grew up with the TI-82. I was in/out of school/work and found myself regularly using a TI-82,83,84 for a little over 15 years now. When I read the requirements for the FE, I went onto Amazon, and started looking at what each mfg had to offer.

Realizing practicality would rule over bells and whistles, I decided against "learning" a new calculator, but instead using a format I recognized. Narrowing it down to TI, I picked out the most powerful thing the FE would allow, the TI-36x Pro. Ever since purchasing this, I have tossed my graphing calculators aside. It's half the size, and does more practical functions than the TI-84 could.

Assisting to the FE exam notably is the following:

(4) Variables, (x,y,z,t)

(3) Matrices (A,B,C)

(3) Vectors

3x3 Linear Solver for Ax=B formatted problems

Third and Second Order Root Finder

Probability (nCr, nPr)

Bin/Hex/Dec

Stats (lists, var1, var2)

Complex manipulation (have it spit out angles and magnitudes)

Integral Solver (Provided you have numeral limits)

Derivative Solver (Limits)

Built-In, extensive list of constants (gravity, charge, mass of elementary particles, Biot, permeability etc..)

Scrolling Text with "regular text" print

Solar Powered

All things considered, these are basic things that most people taking this exam should know how to do in their sleep. However, when the pressure is on, it's nice to have a calculator that can confirm an integral you did in your head or make sure you got the cross product or matrix multiplication correct. This one does it.

Edit, It also uses "double-tap" instead of a 2nd key for most functions. This is really nice when trying to fly through a problem and you can just tap sin twice to get inverse, or tap e twice to get ln. It takes some getting used to, but I prefer it now. Also, I would recommend you learn everything about your FE calculator. I began my semester at the end of August with this calculator, by the time I took the exam in the end of October, I knew every button and feature it had. Don't go into it blindly.

Edited by 8vgumby

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I have both Casio-115es ( using 4 years in college), HP 35s, and TI 36x-pro ( just bought a few months before Oct/2011 exam). I think TI-36x-pro is more easy to use than the others, save a lot of time in exam, I love it Solve function, OP function ( set a formula for calculating 2 parallel resistors), complex number. I tried HP 35s again and again, but not like the way do integral, solve, matrix, so I bring 2 TI-36x-pro to the exam, and all calculation were very easy to do without remember how to do like as the HP 35s. If you don't have TI-36 pro, Casio 115s is ok.

Edited by khtPSU

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I loved the HP for the FE due to the programmable features. This can save you a lot of time when you don't have to go look something up in a table (time value of money, statistics, etc). I still have mine and usually use it in ALG mode. I used the Casio primarily for the PE because of the display, but brought my HP as a backup.

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I used my TI-30X IIS, the same one that I had been using all through college. I passed the first time and the calculator definitely did everything that was included on the exam. Of course the only thing even remotely calculator heavy that I found on there was some statistics stuff, and the calculator functions only saved time, they were not exactly necessary.

Practice a lot with whatever calculator you choose, I was already fast with this one from using it for many years.

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I took the electrical discipline afternoon for the FE and passed this past October. I had a TI-30XS Multi-view with a TI-36X Solar as a backup. I used both extensively while studying, but I really hated the TI-36X because of the single line. The solar panel was also pretty terrible. It was ok in the test room, but the Multi-view worked much better in lower light. I grew up with a TI-83 Plus so I wanted to stick with that comfort, and the Multi-view was great in that department.

Now that I'm studying for the Power PE, I looked at more calculators and landed on the TI-36X Pro. This calculator is the best thing since sliced bread. The solar panel and display are both just as good as the Multi-view. Complex numbers are basically instant. Just looking at the functionality, this is a huge step up for TI, with three solvers (numeric equation, polynomial and system of linear equations), numeric derivatives and integrals, vectors and matrices, quick conversions, and complex numbers. I'd say I would have saved 30 minutes to an hour of calculations off of the overall exam if I'd had this in October. If you're familiar with the TI layout like I was, the learning curve is basically zero. I've already gotten rid of those other two calculators and it's also replacing my old TI-83 Plus at work. You really can't go wrong with this thing.

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I don't remember what I used on the EIT (took it back in Dec '02), but I can guarantee it was a TI. I used either my TI-36x Solar, which I had used since I started highschool, or my TI-86, which I got my freshmen year of college.

I used the TI-36x Solar on the PE.

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At first I was dissapointed that I could not use my beloved TI-89, but to be honest, the Casio FX-115EX (the one that advertises "natural display") is an awesome calculator.

I highly recommend getting this calculator (If you need to buy something else on Amazon, it qualifies for free shipping if you are buying at least $25 worth...or if any of your friends have Amazon Prime, get it from them) It was well worth the money. Get it when you start studying so that you can familiarize yourself with the button locations. I was a bit clumsy the first few days.

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For what it's worth, I took the Electrical version of the F.E. exam. Again, I was VERY HAPPY with the Casio FX-115ES

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I used a casio calculator.

Make sure you use whatever you study with.

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While I am old and when I took the test you could still use the TI-89 calculators, I am speaking from experience, when you study use the calculator you are going to use on the test.

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Casio Is the best calculator!

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So there are three major brands of calculators we can use. I have always used the TI-84 for all my engineering classes.

Which calculator would we most useful on the exam, or which on can do the most functions?

TI Calculators:

  • TI-30Xa
  • TI-30Xa SOLAR
  • TI-30Xa SE
  • TI-30XS Multiview
  • TI-30X IIB
  • TI-30X IIS
  • TI-36X II
  • TI-36X SOLAR

HP calculators:

33s or 35s

Casio calculators

I am an avid HP RPN user although for the FE exam I found that the Casio FX115 to be more suitable for matrix operatins and many other functions needed for the FE exam. The reason I knew to switch for that exam was by the advice of Tesmaster's FE review course. I did take my HP 33 in as I had several formulas programed into it. I think I used the HP twice. So my vote is for the Casio when it comes to the FE or exams in general. I use an HP for work I like the storage and RPN style for grading etc. but stuck with the Casio for my PE exam as well.

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I used the TI-36X Pro for the FE last April. I really liked it and found it very nice for matrix problems. When I got ready to start studying for the PE (took it this October) I couldn't find that dang calculator to save my life. Wound up buying a TI-30XS (I think, it was whatever the most capable -30 model turned out to be) because I couldn't find a local -36X Pro and was out of time to order from Amazon. It worked just fine for the PE as I didn't need to do fancy matrix calculations on that test.

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While I am old and when I took the test you could still use the TI-89 calculators, I am speaking from experience, when you study use the calculator you are going to use on the test.

Yup, me too. I used my TI-89..... and my own pencil!! when I took the FE Exam.

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I have TI's

Casio's and

HP 33 and 35

I like HP 35.

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I used ti36X since I am pretty familiar with TI calculator as I had a TI84 back in college ages ago..

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I used ti36X since I am pretty familiar with TI calculator as I had a TI84 back in college ages ago..

Forgotten to add..TI36x Pro does anything 3X3 matrix with ease!

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I was raised on the TI's used a TI-30 and TI-89 in college and used the TI-30 on the FE. However I picked up a Casio 115 and use it at work. Overall I think the Casio is the more powerful tool, and probably will use it on the PE.



Never liked the RPN of HP


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TI-36x Pro


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