It is still best to practice on the calculator you will use during the exam. Buy a compliant model as soon as possible in your preparation period. I used the Casio fx-115W. It is solar. This prevented any concern about dead batteries.
|fx-115w - Allowed in PE Exam|
"It should be noted that the Board's calculator policy for its state-specific examinations varies significantly from the NCEES calculator policy for the national examinations."So, if you have a favorite calculator that NCEES disallowed, you can bring it to the California state-specific exams, as long as it is not one of the following "strictly prohibited" types (June 6, 2012):
1. anything with a QWERTY keyboard
4. handheld or desktop computers
5. data banks
6. data collectors
7. personal data assistants
Calculators with other (non-QWERTY) alphanumeric keypads are acceptable.
Some of the strictly verboten calculators are listed on the bpels site. These are not allowed on the NCEES exam, but are permitted on California state-specific seismic and survey exams:
... the HP 39 series; the HP 41 series; the HP42S; the HP 48 series; the HP 49 series; the HP 50 series; the TI 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 89 series; the Casio CFX 9850; the Casio FX 7400; the Casio FX 9750; and the Casio FX 2.0.
Best Engineering Calculators
BPELS Calculator Policy
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Starting in October, 2011, NCEES administration services will administer and proctor California State special seismic and surveying exams. Be sure to check the BPELSG site, and take an allowable calculator.