CFA CFA Level 1 Does CFA Institute Not Help w/Learning the Calculators?

Does CFA Institute Not Help w/Learning the Calculators?

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    • WannaBeePM
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      I’ve noticed in my short reading (beginning in Reading 5), that the book never mentions either one of the approved calculators.  I am using one of the older looking TI BAii plus models.  I have done these equations in the past when working on my MBA, but all the books helped me through both the calculations and the calculator.

      The problem I’m having working through the problems manually  is that the memory functions stink on this calculator and I’m just writing down the individual calculations and entering the results manually into each formula.  With the calculator defaulting to two decimals (which I know I can change), the math is not accurate but just close according to the book’s answers.  This seems like a mundane way to do the calculations.  

      Is anyone else having the same issues and may have found a solution to make it easier? …and does the CFA Institute books eventually start discussing the calculators and how to use them to our advantage?

    • WannaBeePM
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      Here’s the better question…do I really need to remember all the formulas or should I just really know how to use my calculator or some combination of both?

      Which formulas are negated by knowing how to use the TI baii plus verses remembering formulas?  I’m sure I will still have to remember formulas but why remember all of them if I know how to use my calculator properly.  Hopefully this all makes sense.

    • vincentt
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      Hello @WannaBeePM‌ , learning the BAII Plus calculator isn’t hard, sometimes there can be more than 1 approach to get your answer. When you spend more time trial and error with your calculator, you’ll find many short cuts, etc.

      Decimal can be changed in the format button ([2nd] + [.]), I’ve mine on 5.
      Regarding your inaccurate answer, if it’s just a two decimal difference it’s usually down to rounding, sometimes CFAI could be rounding based on 2, 3 or more decimals during the calculation so the results will be different, but usually the answers in the exam are pretty obvious, you will never get something like 12.1234 vs 12.1235.
      There are 10 memory slots on this calculator, so before you do your calculation you should plan before hand which way would be the best flow for your calculation. 
      For example, 10 / (some complicated formula), instead of calculating the complicated formula then save it into the memory, clear it, start keying in 10 and recall the calculated formula from your memory, what you can do is calculating the complicated formula then divide it by 10 followed by the [1/x] button which swaps the numerator and denominator around.
      Also, make sure you configure your calculator to use the AOS mode (Algebraic Operating System) and your P/Y. For more information, you can look at this post http://forum.300hours.com/discussion/comment/12680/#Comment_12680

    • Zee Tan
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      Sophie has written a guide for the BA II Plus here: http://www.300hours.com/blog/the-ultimate-list-of-ti-ba-ii-plus-calculator-tips-for-the-cfa-exams

      Most third-party materials also teaches the keystrokes for the BA II Plus as you work through the syllabus. My guess is if you’re doing enough practice, learning how to use the calculator wouldn’t be a problem.
      As for the memory, I second @vincentt‌’s solution – I also use the 10 memory slots to keep values for use later.
    • CosmicDylan
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      Additionally, there are online courses similar to this: https://www.udemy.com/cfa-cfa-calculator/

      I am planning to take this one, if anyone could comment on its quality please do!

    • Qu33qu3g
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      Could someone post a link to helpful tutorials on HP12C usage as well? The Schwiser material (and most people) seem to focus on the BA II+, which unfortunately, isn’t the most helpful for me.

    • WannaBeePM
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      This might be one time to go with the crowd and buy the other calculator since there is more info out there on it.

    • Maverick
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      If you want info / instructions, then buy the TI BA II Plus emulator for apple devices from the store (cost around 21AED here, (around £3.50 or $6) and it has all of the worksheets / functions and how to use them via the INFO button. Good little emulator for learning how to use each function without having to refer to a paper manual.

    • hairyfairy
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      Another vote for BAII+. study notes typically have instructions for the BAII+ as you go along.

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