Mode 7 (Real, a + bi, re^theta i) TI 84 Calculator Mode
OK. This is the biggest help to students in high school and college math. You’ll more than likely want to set your calculator to a+bi mode. That way your calculator can provide you with complex number solutions. That is, only if need be.
For example, pretend you need to find the square root of negative 16. If you’re on Real mode, your calculator will respond with an error message. However, in a+bi mode, your calculator will show 4i.
Likewise, if you have to calculate this:
Your calculator will show .2+.6i, rather than an error message. That’s fantastic. Now imaginary numbers and complex answers aren’t so frustrating.
You can use re^theta i mode for polar complex form. This is usually reserved for math classes from precalculus and above. Otherwise, you needn’t use this mode.
Oh, and if you’re worried that all answers will be given with an I, don’t worry. Your calculator will only show complex answers when there is an I in the solution.
Mode 8 (Full, Horizontal, G-T) TI 84 Calculator Mode
Normally, your calculator will be set on full mode. This is the default for graphing functions.
However, if you want to split your graphing screen, you can choose one of the other modes. Horizontal mode shows your graph in the upper part of the view and the home screen on the bottom. This is handy if you want to edit your graph, function, or table while showing the graph.
Next, the G-T mode, also known as Graph-Table mode displays the graph on the left side and the table on the right side. This is super convenient if you want to see both your graph and table simultaneously.
Mode 9 (Mathprint, Classic) TI 84 Calculator Mode
These options are available on the TI-84 Plus only. If your calculator is a TI-84 Plus CE, this is not a mode option for you.
Mode 10 (Numerator/Denominator, Mixed Number) TI 84 Calculator Mode
For those of you who prefer improper fractions while viewing a fraction, you can keep it on n/d mode. This will display fractions in the numerator over denominator format even when numerators are larger than denominators.
If you prefer to see mixed numbers, such as 1 1/2 rather than 3/2, please select Un/d mode.
Mode 11 (Auto, Decimal, Fraction) TI 84 Calculator Mode
Finally, you can have your calculator display your answers in auto mode, which allows your calculator to choose the answer as decimal or fraction. In DEC mode, you will see your answers as decimals only. For those of you who prefer fractions, you can select FRAC mode.
Good luck in becoming familiar with all the mode options of your TI-84 calculator. Choose whichever one suits you and remember that you can change them when you want.