Statistics How To

TI 89 Combinations: Step by Step

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ti 89 combinations


The TI-89 Titanium graphing calculator is a hand held calculator that helps you calculate many statistics and probability problems in seconds. A combination problem is one where a certain number of items are selected in order and that order doesn’t matter. While doing this by hand is cumbersome (the equation you use involves factorials: n!(n – r)!), the calculator can figure it out at the press of a button.

TI 89 Combinations: Steps:

Watch the video or read the steps below:

Sample problem: If there are 5 people, Barb, Sue, Jan, Jim, and Rob, and only three will be chosen for the new Parent Teacher Association, how many combinations are possible for the committee?

Step 1: Press the HOME screen on the calculator.

Step 2: Press the CATALOG key.

Step 3: Press ALPHA 6. This selects the letter “n” and brings you to the “n”s in the list. If it doesn’t, try pressing ALPHA 6 again.

Step 4: Find nCr(. Press ENTER.

Step 5: Press 5. This is the number of possible people, or n.

Step 6: Press the comma, then 3. This is the number of people we need to choose, or r.

Step 7: Press ). The entry on your calculator should now read nCr(5,3). Press ENTER. This returns you result. There are 10 possible ways this committee can be chosen.

Tip: Instead of hitting the ALPHA and 6 keys, use the scroll button to scroll through the menu.
Tip: Want to check your answer? Use our free, online combinations calculator and permutations calculator to check your work.

Lost your guidebook? You can download a new one from the TI website here.


If you prefer an online interactive environment to learn R and statistics, this free R Tutorial by Datacamp is a great way to get started. If you're are somewhat comfortable with R and are interested in going deeper into Statistics, try this Statistics with R track.

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TI 89 Combinations: Step by Step was last modified: October 15th, 2017 by Stephanie