How to Enter Parametric Equations on the TI-83 Plus - dummies

How to Enter Parametric Equations on the TI-83 Plus

By C. C. Edwards

The TI-83 Plus graphing calculator can handle up to six pairs of parametric equations, X1T and Y1T through X6T and Y6T. To enter parametric equations in the calculator:

  1. Press [MODE] and put the calculator in Parametric mode.

    To highlight an item in the Mode menu, use the


    keys to place the cursor on the item, and then press [ENTER]. Highlight Par in the fourth line to put the calculator in Parametric mode.


  2. Press [Y=] to access the Y= editor.

  3. Enter the definitions of the pair of parametric equations XnT and YnT, with n being an integer between 1 and 6.

    To erase an entry that appears after XnT or YnT, use the


    keys to place the cursor to the right of the equal sign and press [CLEAR]. Then enter your definition for the new parametric equation.

    When defining parametric equations, the only symbol the calculator allows for the independent variable (parameter) is the letter T. Press


    to enter this letter in the definition of your parametric equation. Here, this key was used to enter the X1T parametric equation.


    As a time saving convenience, when entering a parametric equation in the Y= editor, you can reference another parametric equation in its definition. Equations Y1T, X3T, and Y3T are defined in this manner. To paste a parametric equation name in the equation you’re entering in the Y= editor, press


    and then press the number key for the name of the parametric equation you want pasted in the definition.

    Parametric equations must be entered in pairs. If you enter just one equation in the pair, say XnT but not YnT, then when you go to graph these parametric equations, you won’t see a graph nor will you get an error message warning you that there is a problem.