How to Use a Scientific Calculator For Algebra

A scientific calculator provides functions that make common calculations easy. While each calculator is slightly different, every model has the basic functions needed for middle and high school math courses. Once you understand how to use its features, it will help you on your way towards mathematical success.

This article will use the TI-30X IIS calculator.[1] Be sure to check the instruction manual for your own calculator. Instructions for pressing buttons will be in math\displaystyle \mathrm math code.Use the basic operation symbols to perform basic operations. These operations include addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (), and division (). You have to hit the equals (=) sign to complete a calculation using these symbols. Use these functions the same way you would on a basic calculator. For example, to find 12/4, enter 124=\displaystyle 12\div 4=.

Don’t worry about order of operations. A scientific calculator will automatically calculate using the correct order. For example, if your problem is 2 – 4 -3 2, you can type 2432=\displaystyle 2-4\times -3\div 2=, and the calculator will automatically do the order of operations for you.

Change sample variance calculator of operations using the parentheses keys. This will override the calculator’s order of operations. Hit the beginning parentheses before you hit your first number, and hit the ending parentheses after you hit your last number. The calculator will complete that calculation before you enter your next functions. If you need, you can also nest parentheses, though be sure that you can keep track of them.

Fix your mistakes. If you accidentally hit a wrong key, hit the DEL\displaystyle \mathrm DEL button. This will clear the last button you pressed, but will not clear any calculations you’ve made.Clear your work. To clear the line, hit the CLEAR\displaystyle \mathrm CLEAR button. Chances are, you can scroll up to see past calculations. You can hit delete with each line in order to get rid of these.

Explore all the functions on the calculator. To use some functions, you might have to use the 2nd\displaystyle \mathrm 2nd key. These functions are listed above the button, similar to how symbols are listed above the number keys on a keyboard. To use these functions, hit the 2nd key first. Getting the syntax right for some operations may involve switching the order between the operation and the number. For the TI-30X IIS, one of the 2nd functions is to turn off the calculator. Simply press 2ndON\displaystyle \mathrm 2nd \ \mathrm ON .

Make a fraction. While there are buttons to do this, fractions are much easier to type in manually. The reason is that most scientific calculators only output in decimal format. For example, to evaluate 4/5 + 6/7, type in 45+67=\displaystyle 4\div 5+6\div 7= to get approximately 1.657. Use parentheses for more complex operations. To convert back to fractions, use 2ndPRB\displaystyle \mathrm 2nd \ \mathrm PRB to get the answer in mixed fractions.visiting wikiHow.