# TI 84 Mode Options Part 1 of 2

Your TI 84 graphing calculator has a lot of mode options. For example, it can calculate your answers in either normal or scientific notation; calculate trig functions in degrees or radians; and even allow calculations of imaginary/complex numbers.

Without further ado, here are some mode options and how to choose them for your calculator:

## Mode 1 (Normal, Scientific Notation, etc.) TI 84 Calculator Mode

This TI 84 mode option allows you to switch between normal, scientific, or engineering notation. For most of us, normal mode suffices for most applications. Should you want to have an answer in scientific notation, whether for your own convenience or to match answers for your test or quiz, you can do so. And no worries, you can switch back to normal notation quite easily.

You also have the option for engineering notation if you prefer that mode. Follow the video to learn your display options.

## Mode 2 (Float, etc.) TI 84

If you want to change how many decimals appear in your answer, this line is the one you choose. The default for TI 84 mode options is Float. That means your calculator will decide the number of decimal places displayed based upon your inputted calculations. However, you can have your calculator display a specific number of decimal places. This is handy for you if your teacher always wants a set number of decimal places in her answers.

Ah, for those of you in trig, this is the most important of your TI 84 mode options. You will want to check this mode carefully if your answers are wrong. This is the most common cause of wrong answers in trigonometry.

Often, old school professors prefer to calculate exclusively in radians. Younger teachers/profs tend to alternate between degrees and radians. This latter choice makes it more difficult as you’ll have to keep on your toes.

## Mode 4 (Function, Parametric, Polar, Sequential)

Most of you will only need to keep your TI 84 calculator on the default function mode. However, at the level of precalculus and above, you will start to calculate and graph parametric and polar equations. Fortunately, your calculator can graph these.

Be warned, there is a learning curve when calculating and graphing parametric and polar equations. You’ll likely want to match your graphing window to the mode you’re in. More on that later.

## Mode 5 (Connected, Dot) TI 84 Calculator Mode

Ha! This is an easier way to change how your functions are graphed. Your lines and curves are connected by default. If you want to see the general form of your graph, you might want to choose dot. From those, you can choose thick dots or thin dots, depending on your calculator operating system. Have fun with these options.

## Mode 6 (Sequential, Simultaneous)

You can graph your functions either sequentially or simultaneously. Play around with these as they can show you interesting aspects of your graphs. When you see two or more graphs displayed simultaneously, you’ll have more details about how it is shaped as x-values increase.

## By Martin

Martin McSweeney is a National Merit Finalist, Pomona College Graduate, and member of MENSA. He has worked at the Center for Talented Youth (Loyola Marymount University campus); Upward Bound (Harvey Mudd campus); various test prep companies; and Whittier High School. Now, Martin helps students of all abilities improve their relationship with math.