If you’re wondering what kind of calculator programs are permitted on the ACT, and where you can find them, read on for insights and some free ACT calculator programs from SupertutorTV!

5 Free TI-84 Hacks: Calculator Programs For the ACT
Photo credit:  Flickr/Jorge Franganillo

Want to save time and improve your score on the ACT? Hack your TI-84 with these free calculator programs written for the ACT guidelines. These programs were designed for use with a TI-84. Just a heads up: though they may work on other TI series calculators, they will not work on TI-Nspire calculators or other brands.

Keep reading for instructions on downloading our calculator programs package.

***Disclaimer for these Calculator Programs***

We at SupertutorTV have worked hard to provide you with useful calculator programs that to the best of our interpretation adhere to the ACT’s guidelines, but we cannot guarantee that our interpretation of the ACT’s guidelines are the same as those of ACT itself. You are responsible for adhering to all ACT policies on test day. 

When it comes to test day, you’ll need every tool in your tool belt to get the score you need. That’s why calculator programs are important to consider before taking your test.

Calculator programs can

  •      save precious time when answering questions
  •      remember formulas so you won’t forget
  •      check your work if you are uncertain of your answer


However, the ACT has some rules regarding what programs are and aren’t allowed. The rules are a bit ambiguous, which can lead to frustration when choosing which programs to bring.

The following excerpt from the ACT’s website explains what constitutes an acceptable program on the ACT.

Q9: What kinds of mathematics-related programs ARE allowed?
A: The kinds of mathematics-related programs permitted for the ACT allow students to use the calculator capabilities to do the routine calculations yet require students to show their analysis skills by choosing the right operations and process. Mathematics-related programs are allowed if they are single-purpose – for example, finding numeric solutions to a quadratic equation. A student must choose the right program for the right purpose. This is much the same as choosing the right formula for the right purpose.

Q10: Are there any rules that allowed mathematics-related programs must follow?
A: Programs must be written in the language of the calculator. Programs written in a different language, compiled, and loaded onto the calculator are not allowed. In this way, the programs can be examined on the calculator and will use calculator functions. Programs must not be lengthy. The limit is 25 logical lines of code. Programs cannot call another program. Techniques such as compressing code into a data statement are not allowed as a way of getting around this limit. Programs are allowed to change the value of system variables so that results may, for example, be graphed through the normal calculator graphing interface.

Using these guidelines, we at SupertutorTV have compiled a package of programs that adhere to the ACT’s guidelines as we interpret them. Several programs in this package were hand-coded in the BASIC programming language on a TI-84 Plus Silver Edition Calculator by an over-caffeinated intern.  Others are courtesy of Ashlee Grove & Associates. The rest were tweaked or hand coded by another associate at our company on a TI-84 Plus CE. They are all less than 25 logical lines of code.
10 programs in this package:

DISTANCE – finds the distance between two points
LAWCOSIN – finds the missing side or angle of a triangle when given either three sides or two sides and the included angle
LAWSINE – finds the missing side or angle of a triangle when given two angles and one side or two sides and a non-included angle
MIDPOINT – finds the midpoint between two points
NUMDIAGS – finds the number of diagonals in a polygon of a given number of sides
PNTSLOP – finds the point-slope form of a line when given two points
PYTHRAM – finds either the missing hypotenuse when given the two other sides of a right triangle, or finds a missing side of a right triangle when given the hypotenuse and another side.
QUADRATC2 – finds the roots of a second degree polynomial using the quadratic formula
SIMPRAD – finds the simplest radical form

Scroll down for the package.

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Download the program package here

The download will be in a .zip file which you can open with your preferred archive manager, such as WinZip, 7-Zip, or WinRAR.

Need help getting these programs on your calculator? Check out this video: