|Re: 33s target of PEs / high school?|
Message #3 Posted by Norris on 21 Feb 2005, 9:15 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Fubar Vikinghelmet
I doubt very much that HP gave any consideration whatsoever to the NCEES exam market when they developed the 33S. It was designed for high school students and undergraduates, and its success in the NCEES market was probably just a small unexpected bonus.
The NCEES market is simply not big enough for a company like HP to get excited about. There are about 50,000 FE exam candidates per year; however, many of these are repeat takers, so the number of new candidates per year is perhaps 30,000 to 40,000. For comparison, about 3,500,000 students enter the 10th grade in US public schools every year (with more in private schools or home schools). So the high school market is roughly two orders of magnitude larger than the NCEES market. Thatís the market that HP wants to reach.
Check the 33S home page at http://www.hp.com/calculators/scientific/33s/index.html. It includes a list of standardized tests that allow the 33S. But they are all college entrance tests that high school students take (PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, AP, etc). HP doesnít even bother to mention the FE or PE.
Since NCEES banned graphing calculators, the best legal choice for the FE or PE exam has been a programmable scientific. Yet every other major manufacturer (Casio, TI, Sharp) has stopped distributing such calculators in the US, and has left the 33S alone in the market. This suggests that the market is not very important. Casio, for example, could easily compete with the 33S if it wanted to: they currently distribute a competitive programmable scientific, the FX-3650P, in Europe and Asia. It would probably sell very well with NCEES exam candidates (just as the non-programmable Casio FX-115MS Plus currently does), but the market is evidently too small to make it worth the trouble.