How to identify Calculator is Programmable or Non-Programmable Calculator ?

By | October 27, 2016

Some competitive examinations allow the candidates for the use of a calculator but may permit to use the only calculator of non-programmable type.

Calculators that are NOT programmable:

This is what a non-programmable calculator looks like. non-programmable calculator example

List of non-programmable calculators of some famous brands like Casio, Sharp, Texas Instruments, Hewlett-Packard.

list of non-programmable calculators from brands cisco, sharp, hp, texas instruments.

Calculators that are programmable:

Programmable calculators can automatically carry out a sequence of operations under control of a stored program, much like a computer.

programmable calculator example

Examples of programmable calculators are shown in the picture. This calculator runs on a Computer Algebra System (CAS). A CAS helps to make certain complicated algebraic functions automatic and less tedious. As you can see, these calculators also have graphing capabilities. A calculator with graphing capabilities is most likely to be programmable. The easy way to tell if the calculator has graphing capabilities is by looking at the larger screen than would be found on a scientific calculator.

Features of Programmable calculator:

  1. These calculators are capable of storing text or alphanumeric data input by a user.
  2. These calculators are capable of storing, manipulating or graphing functions entered in the symbolic form.
  3. These programmable calculators are capable of performing operations such as differentiation, definite integration, algebraic expressions, binomial expansion, symbolic differentiation and the solution to a system of equations.
  4. These calculators are also capable of external communication or Internet connectivity.
The main difference between a programmable and non-programmable calculator is there is no function button on the non-programmable calculator. Another difference that can be noticed on non-programmable calculators have no matrix or vector functions.

113 thoughts on “How to identify Calculator is Programmable or Non-Programmable Calculator ?

    1. Madhusudan Gupta

      No, It is Scientific Calculator. Programmable Calculators price range above INR 5k. Regards

  1. Roma

    Thank God for an article like this when you have a math exam tomorrow.

  2. Madhusudan Gupta

    Right Vinodh. A nice work, with much research. But what I understand, the Programmable Calculators (PC) that you have described herein, infact are calculators with built-in functions. These calculators can sure take text inputs as formula entry for using a built-in function. The Programmable Calculators, in my opinion, are capable of executing set of instructions for calculating/ computing based on mathematical and logical repetitive alogarithms which, in some cases, can also use built in functions of the machine. These set of instructions entered in the PC are coded in basic type environment or similar languages. The programming instruction may include simple formula translation techniques, Logical If statement and Do Loop statements. Casio PCs are Suffixed with P after their model number. eg. FX 502P, FX 5880P etc. Regards

  3. Ira Garcia

    Is my casio fx-991EX a programmable calculator sir? Im taking my board licensure exam for professional teachers this september and i bought fx-991EX. We are only allowed to use non-proggramable calculator sir. Do you think I can use it on my exam sir?

  4. Felicia Hawkins

    This is a very helpful and well written article. Thank you.

  5. Ditto

    Hello, got an exam in a few days need help with identifying if my calculator is programmable or not. It’s a Sharp EL-W535HT

  6. kheevar

    Please guys tell me is Casio fx 991 ex classwiz a programmable calculator?

  7. Joseph Jackson

    TI-36x Pro Engineering/scientific Calculator is a non-programmable calculator?


    Hi, is financial calculator a non-programable calculator?

  9. DominiqueWaller

    Is the Texas Instrument TI-84 Plus a programmable or non-programmable calculator? I have a mid-term coming up and I really need to know.

  10. maine

    Hello! I would like to ask if my calculator CASIO MS-120BM a non-programmable?

  11. no name

    is the SHARP Writeview EL-W535X programmable or non-programmable?

  12. Mary Jane

    Hello sir . Is Canon F-789SGA a non-programmable calculator ? Thank you sir

  13. SAM

    Hi. First of all, thank you for your help.
    Is Texas Instrument BA II Plus Financial calculator is programmable?
    Thank you

  14. Imogen Johnson

    Have a stats exam Monday- is a casino fx 9860G AU PLUS a programmable calculator?

  15. Pulkit

    Casio fx 991 es plus have vector and matrix functions and still it is non programmable calculator.

    1. Vinodh Reddy Chennu Post author

      Hi Pulkit,
      Having Vector and matrix functions doesn’t mean that it is a programmable calculator.

      Programming calculator has graphing capabilities.

  16. maine

    Is JW-200TW 12Digits a non-programmable calculator? Is it allowed in the CPA Board Exam?

  17. Md. Saifur Rahman

    please tell me the name of best programable calculator.


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