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How to Find the Value of a Function on the TI-84 Plus

When you trace the graph of a function on the TI-84 Plus graphing calculator, the trace cursor doesn’t hit every point on the graph. So tracing is not a reliable way of finding the value of a function at a specified value of the independent variable x.

The CALC menu, however, contains a command that will evaluate a function at any specified x-value. To access and use this command, perform the following steps:

  1. Graph the functions in a viewing window that contains the specified value of x.

    To get a viewing window containing the specified value of x, that value must be between Xmin and Xmax.

  2. Set the Format menu to ExprOn and CoordOn.

  3. Press [2nd][TRACE] to access the Calculate menu.

  4. Press [1] to select the value option.

  5. Enter the specified value of x.

    When using the value command to evaluate a function at a specified value of x, that value must be an x-value that appears on the x-axis of the displayed graph — that is, it must be between Xmin and Xmax. If it isn’t, you get an error message.

    Use the keypad to enter the value of x (as illustrated in the first image). If you make a mistake when entering your number, press [CLEAR] and re-enter the number.

    Press [ENTER].

    After you press [ENTER], the first highlighted function in the Y= editor appears at the top of the screen, the cursor appears on the graph of that function at the specified value of x, and the coordinates of the cursor appear at the bottom of the screen.

  6. Repeatedly press

    image0.png

    to see the value of the other graphed functions at your specified value of x.

    Each time you press

    image1.png

    the name of the function being evaluated appears at the top of the screen and the coordinates of the cursor location appears at the bottom of the screen.

    image2.jpg

After using the value command to evaluate your functions at one value of x, you can evaluate your functions at another value of x by keying in the new value and pressing [ENTER]. Pressing any function key (such as [ENTER] or [TRACE]) after evaluating a function deactivates the value command.

If you plan to evaluate functions at several specified values of x, consider constructing a user-defined table of functional values.

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