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What is Desmos—and how does it relate to the digital SAT?  

The Desmos calculator is a key feature of the digital SAT’s math section, offering advanced functions and leveling the playing field for all test-takers. Learn how Academic Approach integrates Desmos into our curriculum to prepare students for success.

The Desmos calculator is an advanced scientific and graphing calculator that operates entirely within a web browser (or testing application). It offers a range of features that make it a powerful tool for students in the classroom. The calculator’s user-friendly interface and robust capabilities have led to its adoption in various educational settings, including the digital SAT, where students can use this tool throughout the math section.

While Desmos can be incredibly useful to students, it’s important that students prepare for the digital SAT not only by brushing up on their academic skills, but also by learning to effectively use this tool. 

On the digital SAT, the Desmos calculator is integrated directly into the digital test platform, allowing test-takers to access it during the exam. Some of the key features and benefits of the Desmos calculator on the digital SAT include: 

  1. Graphing Capabilities: The Desmos calculator can graph various types of functions and equations, making it valuable for visualizing mathematical concepts. Students can plot equations, inequalities, and other mathematical expressions, helping them analyze and solve problems effectively. Students can also use sliders to see how changing variables affects graphs in real time. 
  2. Advanced Functions: The calculator offers a range of functions,  including trigonometric, logarithmic, and exponential functions. This allows students to work with complex mathematical concepts without the need for manual calculations.
  3. Accessibility and Equity: The calculator is available to all students taking the digital SAT, ensuring a level playing field for test-takers. It eliminates the need for students to purchase or carry physical calculators, reducing potential inequalities in access to resources. However, it’s essential that students are provided adequate instruction on how to use the tool in order to take advantage of its accessibility.

Approximately 40% of math items on the digital SAT can be quickly and accurately answered using the Desmos calculator. Students who are effectively able to use this tool will have a substantial advantage on the test. To prepare students for success on the digital SAT math test, Academic Approach has integrated the Desmos calculator into our practice digital SATs as well as our curriculum, instruction, and professional development.

If you would like to discuss how to prepare your students to use this tool, please schedule a consultation with an Academic Approach School Programs Director. 

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