Education authorities in different countries and states have
responded in various ways to the development of graphics calculators. In
Australia, extraordinarily for a country with less than 20 million
people, each of the states has its own education authority, with its own
position on questions such as the appropriateness of technology for
mathematics in schools. (Each state tends to regard its own system as
superior in some sense to all the others. Needless to say, almost all
states are wrong in this respect!) On this page, links to some of these
official responses are provided,** but please note that this
information is now seriously outdated and is of historical value only.**

Please note that information on this page is NOT official and is provided for ease of comparison only: any official positions and recent changes of policy may be found by following the relevant links or making enquiries directly to the relevant authorities.

This page is clearly incomplete, but I hope to augment it with information from other places or with recent changes. Any advice would be appreciated! In particular, please send me an email if you know of the appropriate URL's or detect any errors on the page.

[NSW] [Qld] [SA] [Tas] [Vic] [WA]

[USA]

**Australian Capital Territory**

Details coming

**New South
Wales**

It appears that scientific calculators are still
used at the senior school level, although some curriculum development is
presently being undertaken. Some NSW Board of Studies regulations are
available at HSC calculator use in 2001. At present, only
one HSC course (*General Mathematics*, which is not intended for
the strongest mathematics students, permits graphics calculator use in
official examinations. Interested readers should make enquiries of The
Board or interrogate the BOS website.

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**Northern Territory**

Details
coming

**Queensland**

Details coming. The use of
calculators appears to be at the discretion of individual schools, as
there is no centrally regulated external examination system. It seems
that some schools make extensive use of graphics calculators, while
others make no use. The Queensland Studies Authority
website gives an overview of assessment practices in Queensland,
although it does not specifically refer to the use of graphics
calculators.

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**South
Australia**

Graphics calculators are permitted for use in
some SA public examinations in 2004. Some information is available at
the
SSABSA Mathematics Learning Area page. [SSABSA means Senior
Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia.]

**Tasmania**

The Tasmanian Secondary
Assessment Board website
will be the appropriate place to find information regarding
Tasmanian use of graphics calculators, which seem still to be
prohiobited for examination purposes in mathematics and other subjects.
Interested readers should make their own enquiries and/or explore this
site.

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**Victoria**

Graphics calculators are
permitted in some senior secondary school external examinations. The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment
Authority site contains various information regarding the VCE. The
*VCE Bulletin* of March 1999, pp 6-7 contained the following
information:

The Board of Studies will publish annually in the VCE
BULLETIN an approved list of graphics calculators which may be taken
into examinations. Graphics calculators which are **not** on this
list are **not approved**, unless special permission is obtained from
the Board of Studies. The list may be updated periodically. Approved
graphics calculators for 1999 were:

**Casio **CFX-9850G,
CFX-9850G PLUS, CFX-9850GB PLUS, CFX-9950G, CFX-9800G, FX-9700G,
FX-7700G, FX-7300G, FX-7400G, FX-8500G

**Sharp **EL-9600,
EL-9400. EL-9300. EL-9200

**Texas Instruments **TI-83, TI-82, TI-85, TI-86, TI-81, TI-80 (Note: TI-89 and
TI-92 series were

The conditions under which graphics calculators were to be used were described below:

- Graphics calculators are permitted for use in
CATs 2 and 3 for Further Mathematics, Mathematical Methods and
Specialist Mathematics and their full functions may be used (calculator
memory is
**not**required to be cleared prior to entering mathematics examinations CATs 2 and 3). However, calculator memory**is**required to be cleared prior to entering the test component for CAT 1 in Mathematical Methods and Specialist Mathematics).

- For 1999 examinations in Mathematical
Methods and Specialist Mathematics setting panels will assume that all
students will have access to an approved graphics calculator. For
Further Mathematics this requirement will come into effect in 2000 (see
October 1998 VCE BULLETIN pages 7-8).

- For examinations in Accounting, Chemistry, Information
Systems, Physics, Science and Systems & Technology, graphics
calculators are permitted for use with the requirement that
**the calculator memory has been cleared**prior to entering the examination. Students may continue to use all other functions of graphics calculators and the full functions of other Students who do not comply with this rule shall be in breach of examination regulations and will be subject to disciplinary action.

Schools must comply with the Board's requirements in relation to supervising student use of graphics calculators in examinations. Schools are required to certify that all students from the school undertaking examinations which permit the use of calculators:

- have received an individual copy of the
*1999 VCE Examinations and General Achievement Test (GAT) Information Book and Timetable*(provided in June)

- have
been directed to use only an approved Brand and Model of calculator

- have been directed to clear the memory of the graphics calculator prior to entering examinations other than Mathematics. For all studies, other than Mathematics, which permit the use of graphics calculators the memory must be clear on entry to the examination.

Declaration forms will be provided to school principals prior to the June examination period.

Interested readers should examine recent *Bulletins*, which are
available for download from the VCAA site.

Of particular interest is the use of CAS calculators (ie algebraic calculators) in a pilot program over recent years. Interested readers should refer to CAS Pilot Studies.

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**Western
Australia**

In Western Australia, the Curriculum Council of
WA is responsible for school curricula in mathematics (as well as
other subjects). The use of graphics calculators is expected in senior
secondary school mathematics courses and external examinations (called
*Tertiary Entrance Examinations*). In Physics and Chemistry
courses, students are permitted to bring graphics calculators into
external examinations. Details of approved calculators are provided for
students in the *TEE handbook*. The link shows the 2002 version. In
the particular case of Chemistry, the syllabus notes that: *No
question will be set that requires the use of functions other than those
on a scientific calculator.*

An early paper commisioned by the Secondary Education Authority (a precursor to the Curriculum Council) outlines some of the issues associated with the use of graphics calculators in senior secondary school. Current syllabuses are most easily available from the Council website. The website also contains information on the external Tertiary Entrance Examinations, for which graphics calculator use is expected, as well as assessment support advice on the incorporation of graphics calculators into assessment programs.

The Education Department of Western Australia provide detailed resources related to the place of graphics calculators in WA schools. In particular, the policy statements clarify the Department of Education and Training and the Curriculum Council position on the role of graphics calculators in schools. Again, care is needed to check that the latest policies are being read.

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The Advanced Placement (AP) program of the College Board for more than a decade has expected that graphics calculators will be used in significant national examinations in Calculus and Statistics. Successful performance on these examinations provides advanced standing in college mathematics at US universities. Detailed advice on the place of graphics calculators in the AP Calculus AB course and the AP Calculus BC course is available on the College Board's website. Of particular interest is the perspective: "Exam restrictions should not be interpreted as restrictions on classroom activities." You may also be interested in the AP Statistics course, for which graphics calculator use is also expected.

Recent information on calculator use in AP exams seems harder to find than it was previously, possibly because calculator use has become normalised in quantitative AP courses.

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Any advice? Help?

Last updated on 22 February 2004