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Home :: Community :: Surveys :: Do you think calculators with computer algebra systems should be allowed on standardized tests?
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Choice Votes   Percent
No 91 21.8%
Yes 327 78.2%

 Survey posted 2000-02-27 20:36 by Andy. Contribute ideas to surveys by sending a mail to survey@ticalc.org.
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Re: Do you think calculators with computer algebra systems should be allowed on standardized tests?
aoejedi
(Web Page)

You can enter an equation after solving it into I believe even the TI-73 (not sure) and pretty sure about the TI-80, and it will pop out 1 if correct, 0 if incorrect.

--Dave

Reply to this comment    29 February 2000, 06:22 GMT

No
Russell Howes

On your typical college-entrance exam, about half of the math problems cannot be solved just by functions on a graphing calculator. These are mostly problems that have something to do with geometry (try finding the area of a trapezoid formula on a 92) or basic terms. Heck, some of the questions can be solved by adding two numbers together. Although using an 89 or 92 would give you no advantage over somebody with no graphing calculator, and little advantage over someone with no calculator, what's the point? The extra functions and stuff are totally useless.

On the other hand, on the AP and I imagine IB tests, using an 89/92 eliminates the whole purpose of the test. ***The purpose of the test is to see how well you have mastered the subject(example: AB Calculus), not how well you have mastered pressing [F2][6]***. If you were taking a test on a subject on TI-92 Usage, or maybe a test where you had to have known how to integrate an equation when you first started the course, that's old hat and that's fine. But show me a high school Standerdized test past Calculus. There aren't any. I didn't spend a month and a half finding out how to integrate an equation to have somebody else get a 92 for xmas and do it without knowing why the calc got that for an answer. Using a calc to factor x²-2x+1 is OK...if you've already mastered doing it by yourself. It's the same as you go up. Just knowing how to make the calc do it doesn't really help in real life either. Ask data entry workers how much they make. Reply will be something pretty close to min wage. Ask a math professor, or a computer programmer, or a physicist what they make, and the answer will probably be a little more than \$5.15/hr. Typing in an integration problem and having the 92 solve it is much more like data entry than math.

Reply to this comment    1 March 2000, 01:04 GMT

Re: No
Jonathan Wang

Ummm... IIRC \$5.15/hr is below min wage in the US. Did you mean \$51.50/hr?

Reply to this comment    1 March 2000, 22:57 GMT

Dollars, not yen
Russell Howes
(Web Page)

see the listed web site...

Reply to this comment    4 March 2000, 05:08 GMT

Re: Dollars, not yen
Russell Howes

I have just been informed that the above comment could be misinterpreted as racist. I don't know how or who would call it that, but let it be said that wasn't my intention... :P

Reply to this comment    4 March 2000, 06:00 GMT

Re: Do you think calculators with computer algebra systems should be allowed on standardized tests?
Amalfi Marini

I think you can have and use a TI89/92 , but you must not trick yourself using these tools . Honest peolpe will only use graphing calculators to verify their exercices , and that's good , since in my country (Uruguay) you spend more time studing at home than in the high schools . I think graphing calculators are for inteligent and honest people that will never miss an answer without it . Anyway , my TI89 an I traveled many adventures together...........

Reply to this comment    1 March 2000, 01:14 GMT

Re: Do you think calculators with computer algebra systems should be allowed on standardized tests?
justsomeotherguy

Yeah, in some ways people have just gotten lazy about math. Nowadays with all of the technology out there like graphing calculators we just forget where it all comes from. I myself try to stay away from downloading and using programs for math because I don't know how to do them. Instead of doing that, I just end up learning exactly how to do things and I examine exactly what is done when and where in a problem and end up making a program to do the work for me. My math teacher knows all about it, and his only objection to it would be if I started passing my programs out to others. He just says that if you know the work and are smart enough to write a program to do it for you, then you can go ahead and use it. I don't have a single program on my calculator that I haven't at least learned how to do the long way before I got the program. That's probably why you'll never see any kind of math or science program on this site from me.

Like I have had one teacher do to my class - teachers should temporarily ban the use of graphing calculators on assignments or quizzes until you have proven that you can do things the long way.

Reply to this comment    1 March 2000, 21:14 GMT

Re: Do you think calculators with computer algebra systems should be allowed on standardized tests?
IslesFan

I Think Calculators with a computer algebra system should be allowed. Why you might ask? Well I'm a Junior in High School. I Have a TI-83+ and a Ti-36X. Since I'm not in Pre-Calculus yet, I can only use the 36. However, Starting with next year's freshmen, graphing calculators(ones with algebra built in) are allowed(New York State Math A Regents ALLOWS Graphing Calcs starting in June of this year). Just because you have a graphing calc doesnt mean that you'll get all the answers. If i used a graphing calculator on the Seq 3 regents, I'd get all the answers. But Math A uses more challanging type of questions, so you have to do a little thinking before you do any type of math. In Sequental 1-3, the questions are usually straight out, so you could use a graphing calculator straight off the bat and get answers.

Reply to this comment    2 March 2000, 00:02 GMT

Re: Re: Do you think calculators with computer algebra systems should be allowed on standardized tests?
Rogue
(Web Page)

The graphing calcs should be allowed to be used simply because they offer no additional help. Becoming dependent on calculators actually isn'y bad. Why would anyone want to do long devision in their head. The fact is the human brain can't do math. You "You idiot, i know 5+1=6", but actually you simply learned how to add the digits 0-9 together and memorized it, you don't actually calculate on the spot. Its a fact. While doing some simple addition should not require a calculator, there is NO REASON EVER that ANYONE unless they are an idiot would use the slower method. That means if its faster to use the calculator thats the way it should be done. It is simply a waste of time any other way. And to be honest anyone who can't figure out how to solve a algebra equation without the algebra system would be so dumb they would fall asleep in traffic on the way to their test anyway.

Reply to this comment    2 March 2000, 01:29 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Do you think calculators with computer algebra systems should be allowed on standardized tests?
Russell Howes

"there is NO REASON EVER that ANYONE unless they are an idiot would use the slower method."

Unless that's what they are supposed to be learning or if that's what they're being tested on.

Reply to this comment    4 March 2000, 05:10 GMT

Re: Do you think calculators with computer algebra systems should be allowed on standardized tests?
George Limpert

Many standardized tests do allow calculators with CAS systems and to account for this, the tests are written so that even with a powerful calculator, some knowledge is required. Tests such as the SAT are considered to be "reasoning" tests and even with a calculator, you still need some understanding of the subject. Tests such as the AP tests are written so that reasoning can be used to solve the problems and a calculator is not necessary. One would hope that the ACT and other tests that do not allow calculators would change their tests so that allowing calculators with CAS systems will not defeat the purpose of the test. This should be done anyway because the purpose of a test really isn't to see how many problems you can solve but to allow you to demonstrate mastery of the subjects being tested. In my opinion, all tests should be written this way, and one advantage of this is that it would no longer be necessary to ban calculators with CAS systems.

Reply to this comment    2 March 2000, 04:42 GMT

Re: Do you think calculators with computer algebra systems should be allowed on standardized tests?
BLAlien

I think that you should learn the math first, and only use a calculator for simple multiplication problems that are simply impossible to solve within you own head. (human brains are puny)
And about the argument that rich kids have an advantage:
If you need a calculator so bad it can affect your grade, then GET A JOB!!! Why don't you mow some lawns or something? I bet very few adults these days really have to do complex calculations by hand.

Reply to this comment    3 March 2000, 03:44 GMT

How about. . .
Scott Noveck
(Web Page)

How about "Only if you write it yourself"???

I mean, some of us DO take a sick, masochistical pleasure in writing our own symbolic manipulation engines. I doubt that anyone here could do anything rivaling TIs in a reasonable amount of time, but I myself could at least handle most all algebra (and for the SAT it doesn't seem to make much of a difference having an 89 or an 86 - really).

I've used a similar approach in school before - I wrote a program that does simple synthetic division graphically for me. Technically there's no need for it on my 89, but I'd rather show that I don't need one to ace the course - so why not write a program to save some time as compared to doing it by hand? And if I understand the subject matter well enough to teach a machine to do it in pure logical commands, I certainly understand it well enough to not need to waste my time doing it by hand.

FYI, my personally opinion is just that - you should only be able to use this technology if you understand it well enough to create it yourself. When I see special ed kids getting 89s for their prealgebra (in high school, no less), it's just WAY over the line. 99% of the people who use it definately don't deserve it. At least let those of us who truly understand it look better compared to those who don't and only know how to use the calc. . .

Reply to this comment    3 March 2000, 05:53 GMT

Re: How about. . .
Jared B
(Web Page)

It is true that you shouldn't have an 89 if you don't have a clue of how to use it; although, they did buy it.

Reply to this comment    4 March 2000, 00:49 GMT

Do you think standardized tests should be allowed?
jamin

A point that I would like to make:

Standardized tests are overused to test the knowlegdge and abilities of students.
In High School my teachers spent a large period of time preparing students for taking these types of tests (IGAP) because our scores reflected on the school. State requirements and funding were really more important than the individual needs of students.

The issue should not be allowing calculators but allowing standardized testing.
There are better ways of testing students knowledge. In addition students learn in different ways: some are math oriented and others are visually/art oriented. Factors like these can determine who will do well on tests. Some horrible students ace ACT's and can get into any college they want to. Others who are brilliant may fare poorly on tests.

Know and use the resources that you are allowed to use, they are adequate to get you by.

Reply to this comment    4 March 2000, 03:47 GMT
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