NCEES Approved Calcs for 2006


NCEES has just released the list of approved calculators for licensing exams in engineering and surveying for 2006. No big changes, just a few additions.

HP: the 9S and 33S remain legal, and the 30S has been added.

Casio: FX 115 MS and FX 115 MS Plus remain legal, and the FX 115 ES has been added.

TI: the 30X IIS, 30X IIB, and 36X Solar remain legal, and the 30XA has been added.

Compared to the announcements for 2004 (HP 41, 42, 48, 49 were suddenly banned) and 2005 (all other HPs, except the 9S and 33S, were suddenly banned), the lack of surprises is welcome.


I have now read from a variety of sources regarding the NCEES policy. Weighing all considerations, the NCEES made a very poor decision. I'm lucky that my professional career will be unaffected by this nonsense, I've gotten very used to the HP48/49 series. To be denied the use of such a wonderful tool for the arbritrary and capricious reasons given by the NCEES is completely asinine. My sympathies are extended to all who are affected by this.


Oh, one other point: the California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors still allows all HP calculators (and other non-QWERTY calculators) on its state-specific (non-NCEES) PE and PLS exams. But this is only relevant if you are taking certain civil-related or survey-related exams in California.

Some other states also offer non-NCEES licensing exams, but as far as I know, they all enforce the NCEES calculator policies, even on non-NCEES exams.


The HP-6S should be perfectly acceptable and adequate, unless it has been discontinued and is no longer available on retail shelves.

BTW, I bought one one eBay, just for fun. It's certainly not a triumph of engineering or good design, but it isn't ugly, and it has a few functions that even the mighty HP-41C didn't have.

There is no power switch or automatic power-off function. So, as long as an expensive Type 43 button cell is installed and light is inadequate, it will keep discharging that cell. Mine arrived with a dead one, no doubt after spending much time in a dark box.

-- KS


Sadly, the 6S and 6S Solar have been discontinued. The 9S, 30S, and 33S are the only scientific (non-graphing) calculators currently available at is currently offering "a limited number" of "refurbished" 6S Solars (without case, packaging, or warranty) for $14.95.

I have been using a 6S Solar for a few years, mostly stored in the dark, and the battery isn't dead yet. It's a great field calculator; the combination of light weight, small size, legible display, and low power consumption is hard to beat for outdoor use.

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