CFA CFA Level 1 Getting started with the BAII Plus calculator

Getting started with the BAII Plus calculator

  • This topic has 6 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated Apr-20 by fp92.
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    • janpeter
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      Hi everyone, I am using the BAII Plus calculator for my exams. I haven’t gone through all the functions yet, but so far I have not used a finance calculator before, just a scientific calculator. Obviously understanding the calculator well would be very useful for the exam.

      1. Is it advisable to start my studying with my ‘usual’ scientific calculator and learn the BA II plus as I go along? Or must I start using the BA II plus from the start?
      2. Is there a QuickStart guide anywhere for the calculator that I can get?
      3. Any hints, tips, hacks that you’ve learnt that you can pass on?
      As always, thanks! _/_
    • jasdev
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      I was in your position. Don’t attempt to study with your scientific calculator, you need to be lightning fast at recalling how to perform functions with your exam calculator and familiarity leads to quick reflexes.

      There’s a basic how to on this website but also I found I was lucky with Google if I wanted to learn how to carry out a particular task on my BA II Plus. Guidance is scattered over the Internet, but it is out there.
      Just remember the difference between BGN and END mode for any Time Value of Money calculations, and how to change between those two modes.
    • janpeter
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      Found the guide, very useful. Will study materials also discuss how to use the calculator?

      OK looks like I need to first learn the calculator before I can get through FRA.

      No idea about BGN and END yet but will keep it in mind, thanks jasdev!

    • jasdev
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      The official curriculum does NOT discuss how to use the calculator, but some third-party materials might, I don’t know.

    • kalalah
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      I know Kaplan goes through a few examples including specific keystrokes for the BAII+. I also used some YouTube videos to get started. For anything that you’re not sure, go through a few guided examples and you should be good to go

    • Sophie Macon
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      Off the top of my head, here are a few things you need to know to use your calculator for:

      • Basic TVM function, BGN mode vs END
      • CF/NPV/IRR
      • interest rate conversion
      • Amortisation schedule
      • Depreciation
      • Permutations, combinations, factorials
      • Break-even analysis
      • Stats and data functions: Linear and 1 variable, so you can get sample standard deviation, correlation, covariance of two variables etc.
    • fp92
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      Thanks for sharing the tips guys. I didn’t realise that there were more shortcuts outside of the curriculum that we could use on BA II plus calculator until I did some Googling and found Sophie’s article – the stats functions save SO much time!

      Pasted link here just in case it’s useful: 

      Just out of curiosity does anyone use HP12c here? Seems that it’s less common but for those who use it love it. Was wondering if it’s worth switching if I get to L2…

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