This policy applies for all competitions held in California.
I. Decathletes May Use Calculators for the Mathematics Test
If competitors wish to use calculators on the Mathematics Test, they are responsible for bringing them to the test. Calculators will not be provided for students who do not bring their own. Calculator use is permitted only for Mathematics; competitors will not be allowed to use calculators on any other test.
CAD requires all students taking the Mathematics test in California to clear the memory of their graphing calculators before and immediately following the mathematics test administration.
- Graphing calculators will be subject to inspection by test administrators and test proctors before and immediately after the math test administration to ensure that the calculators’ memories have been cleared.
- Students will also be required to sign a compliance statement on the math test cover sheets certifying that they will clear the memory from their graphing calculator immediately before the math test and at the completion of the math test.
II. Permissible Calculators
If a competitor wishes to use a calculator, it can be a basic, four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator, provided it has none of the features listed in Section III (Prohibited Calculators).
III. Prohibited Calculators
Calculators with any of the following features are NOT allowed in CAD competitions:
- pocket organizers
- hand-held or laptop computers
- electronic writing pads or pen-input devices
- models with an alphabetic (QWERTY) keypad, e.g. TI-92 or HP-95
- models with paper tape
- models that make noise
- models that can engage in wireless communication (transfer data or information with other calculators)
- models that require a power cord
- models with CAS (computer algebra systems), e.g. TI-89
- NOTE: USAD has approved the TI-Nspire calculator so long as it does not have the (CAS) stamped on the back side of the machine.
Because companies are continuously introducing new products, it would be impossible for CAD to maintain an up-to-date list of specific model numbers that possess these features. If a competitor is uncertain whether a particular calculator will be allowed, the student should bring a backup that does not possess any of the features in question. No backup calculator will be provided for any competitor whose calculator is disallowed.
IV. Competing without a Calculator
Competitors may opt to take the Mathematics Test without a calculator; however, CAD is suggesting competitors use a basic, scientific, or graphing calculator for solving the trigonometry test items.
V. Calculator Failure During a Test
If a competitor’s calculator stops working during a test, the student should continue taking the test without a calculator. No additional calculator will be provided, and the competitor will not be allowed to take the test again later. However, as noted in Section III above, a competitor may bring a backup calculator and/or spare batteries to the test.