Kids these days are not only allowed to have calculators, but they have really cool ones. Don't get me wrong, the TI that I used back in the 1980's was great for its day, but this new line of units is just amazing. Either technology has come a long way or someone figured out how to inject steroids into these things. Calculators are miniature super computers and some, like the Texas Instruments TI-nspire CAS, have corresponding software for use on a regular computer. With the nspire, the software isn't just for the student, there's a teacher's edition that allows the teacher to sync with the student's TI-nspire and download questions the student may have, then resync at a later time after reviewing and answering them. To boot, this particular calculator is approved for use on SAT, PSAT and AP tests. When I took my ACTs, I remember being allowed extra paper for calculations... but we had to destroy it before leaving the test room.
Let me say, the calculator itself is just phenomenal. As a former accountant, I had to be careful not to short it out with all my drool. The times of needing two different calculators are gone (IE scientific versus financial) with the TI nspire wrapping it into one - with interchangeable faceplates.
As fate would have it, about the same time I found out about the nspire, a family friend was notified that she needed to purchase a special calculator for her son, Steve, a high school freshman. He is required to have one for his geometry class. In lieu of testing it myself, I opted to give it to Steve, someone who could take full advantage of its features - something I was far from doing considering my days of geometry and calc classes are long gone. (Not that I'm complaining, of course.)