TI-83 and TI-84 graphing calculators can be powerful tools in your high school or college algebra class. They can be made even more powerful with special programs that can be purchased and downloaded into the APPS portion of your calculator. The ZOOM 200 program was the original application that students used on their graphing calculators 5 years ago. While this program was useful, it certainly did not have all of the features that the ZOOM 300 program now offers.

If you need to factor a polynomial using the calculator, all you have to do is type it in and hit ENTER. If you need to solve the polynomial add an equal sign and a zero and then hit ENTER and it is done. Your answer will be expressed as a whole number, fraction or decimal depending the format that your teacher or test is asking for. This program will solve well over half the problems that you encounter during your high school Algebra courses.

Before you rush out to purchase this program, it is important to know that many teachers will not allow this program in their classroom. Although ACT has yet to rule this program out, many other standardized tests (such as the COMPASS test) have made this program illegal. Even if your teacher does not allow the ZOOM 200 or 300 programs, it could still be a potentially useful purchase. When you are working on your homework outside of school, this app will be a quick way to check to see if you are working the problem out correctly. Just be careful not to rely on the program for your answers solely; otherwise, you will not learn the material and perform poorly on classroom and standardized tests (like the Algebra 2 EOC). If you choose not to purchase this program, then learn all you can about the regular features of your graphing calculator. You might be surprised to find that these calculators do much, much more than simple arithmetic problems. Even though both the calculator and the ZOOM Math programs are relatively expensive, they are just a relative drop in the bucket when you compare them to the potential savings for college you can make through scholarships because of high math ACT scores.