CFA CFA Level 1 Which calculator should I use – the TI BA II Plus or the HP 12C?

Which calculator should I use – the TI BA II Plus or the HP 12C?

  • This topic has 3 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated Oct-18 by Marc.
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    • MichaelJim
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      Please suggest

    • PaulAdaptPrep
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      TI BA II Plus unless you know reverse polish notation.

      We have a great 15 minute overview of how to use it:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehchb6Zvag0

    • daharmattan1
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      Agreed, the BA-II plus is the standard that all study providers will reference

    • Marc
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      @MichaelJim The short answer is, whatever you’re most comfortable with.

      Personally, I’ve always used a BA II Plus (or BA II Plus Professional, which has a couple extra features that I like, but I work with people who swear by the HP 12C and I wouldn’t ask them to change. Nor am I about to change, despite having come to see scenarios for which the HP 12C functions more intuitively than the BA II Plus.

      The bottom line is that your choice of calculator is extremely unlikely to make a difference as to whether you pass or fail (unless, of course, you attempt to use an unapproved calculator and end up with none at all). By contrast, spending time fretting about which calculator you prefer is much more likely to affect your result – especially when you have to option to bring in more than one (approved) calculator.

      I do not mean to suggest that considerations surrounding calculator preferences are trivial matters. As mentioned, I like the extra features of the BA II Plus Professional, but I used my “unprofessional” BA II Plus by default because of something so trivial as the fact that my fingers prefer the feel of its smoother buttons. So my practice was to take both into the exam and know that I could use the extra features of the Professional model if needed, but that my fingers and I would be comfortable doing most of our work with our reliably smooth friend – even if she wasn’t deemed sufficiently professional.

      I do mean to suggest that, once you’ve decided what you’re most comfortable with, stick with it and focus on the immense amount of material in the curriculum. It’s a bit like the Mac/PC or iPhone/Android thing. Do you have a computer/phone that works for you? If so, are you particularly interested in hearing someone go on at length about how the other system is vastly superior and you’d be able to see this if only you were as enlightened as this individual? Do you like that person? No, nobody likes that person. So pick whatever you’re most comfortable with and, if you’re still on the fence, take the other one as your backup calculator.

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