Texas Instruments TI-503 SV Standard Function Calculator

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Easy-to-read 8 digit display

Top Positive Review

I’m a Harvard grad, 99% GRE scorer and professional GRE tutor with 18 years of experience. This basic, 4-function calculator from Texas Instruments gets my strong recommendation because of its price point, sturdiness, ease-of-use and most importantly, its easy-to-press buttons.

Cheaper standard function calculators often have gummy little buttons that barely protrude from the top of the surface of the calculator and have way too much “give” to them. These cheaper buttons are often hard to press, and make using the calculator difficult. By contrast, this TI calculator has very firm plastic buttons that are easy to press, and to use quickly without mistakes.

The TI 503-SV is very similar to the on-screen calculator that is used on the computer version of the GRE (Graduate Record Exam), as well as the calculator provided for the paper-based test. If you are studying for the GRE, then this is a great little tool at a decent price (a little more expensive, but much studier, easier to use and reliable than others like it). Unlike the more advanced TI calculators, this one does not come with a cover, but then again, it’s only $5. You could buy or use a nicer calculator instead, yes, but in my opinion it’s important to practice with a calculator that has the same limitations as the one you will be using on the test (for example, it only displays answers out to 8 digits).

If you’re like me, then you never really had much use for the memory buttons, and you wonder why they are there taking up valuable real estate. But if they are on there, then you should at least know what they mean:

M+ = Memory Add = takes the answer to the operation and either adds it to the memory (you will see an “M” in the upper-left hand side) or to whatever number is already in the memory
M- = Memory Subtract = takes the answer to the operation and subtracts it from the memory
MRC = Memory Recall = provides the new number stored in the memory / answer to the operation

For example, to perform the operation (2 x 3) + (5-2) you could press the following keys:

2 x 3 (M+)
5 – 2 (M+)
MRC

Yes, I know, it??s complicated??but now you know. It’s almost always easier??and more reliable??to simply write down important numbers on your scrap paper with a good old-fashioned pencil.

Final tip: if you see an “E” in the lower-left hand corner, then this means that your answer is too big to fit.

Can you find cheaper basic calculators on Amazon? Of course, but I’d rather pay a couple of bucks extra for something of much higher quality.

Top Critical Review

I bought this calculator for one of my classes. My teacher said that I didn’t need anything fancy, so I gravitated towards this one because A) it’s “nothing fancy” and B) the price was right. My biggest issue is that the CE|C button doesn’t seem to want to work, and instead numbers get added to the previous equation instead of starting a new one. For instance, if my last equation was 4×2 and I get 8, clear it, and move on to the next problem, it will start multiplying 8 by the very next number I press. I have to press clear a million times before it ACTUALLY clears and let’s me move on to the next equation input. This is extremely frustrating. Halfway through my first class using it, I threw it back into my backpack and started using my phone.

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Texas Instruments TI-503 SV Standard Function Calculator
Texas Instruments TI-503 SV Standard Function Calculator
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