# Calculator

Basics
The TI-30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator, pictured at the top of this page, is the official calculator of the GED.  The GED provides an on-screen TI-30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator during the test, but you will need the handheld TI-30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator while you study before the test, especially outside of class.  As a supplement to the on-screen calculator, you should bring your own handheld calculator for use at the test.  No other brand of handheld calculator is allowed.  The TI-30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator is available for about \$20.00 from many different vendors, including Amazon, Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, and Walmart, to name a few.

GED.com provides several study materials regarding the calculator, including the following:
calculator tutorial – english
calculator tutorial – spanish
on-screen calculator video – english
on-screen calculator video – spanish
calculator reference sheet – english
calculator reference sheet – spanish
mathematics formula sheet – english
mathematics formula sheet – spanish
mathematics symbol selector

The calculator is utilized mainly in the Mathematical Reasoning module, but also sees action in the Social Studies and Science modules.

Clearing

At the start of a new calculation, clear the screen.
If you make an error entering a calculation, start over and clear the screen.
When in doubt, start over and clear the screen.

Input Display Comment
###### Clearing

Number Sense
Number Sense means knowing your way around numbers.

Number Sense’s core skills involve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Input Display Comment
6 – 4 6-4 Subtraction
5 × 7 5*7 Multiplication
72 ÷ 8 72÷8 Division
###### Number Sense

Negatives

The (-) button is used for calculating with negative numbers (numbers less than zero).

Input Display Comment
5 +  3 5+ 3 Addition
6 –  4 6- 4 Subtraction
5 ×  7 5* 7 Multiplication
72 ÷  8 72÷ 8 Division
###### Negatives

Decimals

The decimal button is used frequently.

Input Display Comment
6 –  4 6-.4 Subtraction
5 ×  7 5*.7 Multiplication
72 ÷  8 72÷.8 Division
###### Decimals

Percent

activates  above

% is primarily a multiplier.

Input Display Comment
× 3 5%*3 Multiplication
###### Percent

Fractions

A calculator operation with fractions produces an answer in fraction form.

Input Display Comment
1  2
+
1  4
$\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{2}$$\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{4}$ Addition
$\bf\displaystyle\frac{3}{4}$ Answer
1  2

1  4
$\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{2}$ – $\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{4}$ Subtraction
$\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{4}$ Answer
1  2
×
1  4
$\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{2}$ * $\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{4}$ Multiplication
$\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{8}$ Answer
1  2
÷
1  4
$\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{2}$ ÷ $\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{4}$ Division
###### Fractions

Mixed Fractions (also known as Mixed Numbers)

activates  above

A calculator operation with mixed fractions produces an answer in fraction form.

Input Display Comment
1  1  2
+
1  1  4
$\bf\displaystyle1\frac{1}{2}$ + $\bf\displaystyle1\frac{1}{4}$ Addition
$\bf\displaystyle\frac{11}{4}$ Answer
1  1  2

1  1  4
$\bf\displaystyle1\frac{1}{2}$ – $\bf\displaystyle1\frac{1}{4}$ Subtraction
$\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{4}$ Answer
1  1  2
×
1  1  4
$\bf\displaystyle1\frac{1}{2}$ * $\bf\displaystyle1\frac{1}{4}$ Multiplication
$\bf\displaystyle\frac{15}{8}$ Answer
1  1  2
÷
1  1  4
$\bf\displaystyle1\frac{1}{2}$ ÷ $\bf\displaystyle1\frac{1}{4}$ Division
$\bf\displaystyle\frac{6}{5}$ Answer
###### Mixed Fractions

Square

Number Squared = Number² = Number × Itself

3 squared = 3² = 3 × 3 = 9

In order to get the correct answer when squaring a negative number, place the negative number in parentheses to protect the order of operations.
Right:  -3 squared = (-3)² = 9
Wrong:  -3 squared = -3² = -9

Input Display Comment
3 squared
-3    (-3)² -3 squared

###### Number²

Square Root

activates  above

Square Root = Number² = √Number × Itself

Square Root of 9 = 9 =  = √3 × 3 = 3

Sometimes, by using factoring, the calculator will produce an answer that retains the square root symbol:
Square Root of 48 = 43

When an answer shows    immediately adjacent to a number, an invisible multiplication sign is in force:
4 × 3  =  4√3

The root sign √   is also known as the radical sign.

Input Display Comment
9

9

Square Root of 9
48

48

Square Root of 48

4√3

###### Square Root

Power

NumberPower

The term power refers to how many times a number is multiplied by itself.
7 to the power of 5 = 75 = 7 × 7 × 7 × 7 × 7 = 16807
7 to the power of -5 = 7-5 = $\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{7}$ × $\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{7}$ × $\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{7}$ × $\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{7}$ × $\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{7}$ = 0.000059499

In order to get the correct answer when calculating the power of a negative number, place the negative number in parentheses to protect the order of operations.
Right:  -7 to the power of 4 = (-7)4 = 2401
Wrong:  -7 to the power of 4 = -74 = -2401

Input Display Comment
4 74 7 to the power of 4
-7   4 (-7)4 -7 to the power of 4

###### Power

Root

activates  above

RootNumber

The root sign √   is also known as the radical sign.

Third Root of 343  =  ³343  =  ³√  =  ³√7 × 7 × 7 = 7
Fourth Root of 2401  =  42401  =  474  =  47 × 7 × 7 × 7 = 7
Fifth Root of 16807  =  516807  =  575  =  57 × 7 × 7 × 7 × 7 = 7

Input Display Comment
343

³343

Third Root of 343
###### Root

Scientific Notation

Scientific notation is used to represent large or small numbers as a power of ten.

1 × 106 = 1000000
7 × 106 = 7000000

1 × 10-6 = 0.000001
7 × 10-6 = 0.000007

In order to get the correct answer with division involving scientific notation, parentheses are needed to protect the order of operations.
Right:  (7 × 106) ÷ (2 × 106) = 3.5
Wrong:  7 × 106 ÷ 2 × 106 = 3.5 × 1012

Input Display Comment
6 7*106 Scientific Notation
6
+

6
6

6
7*10– 2*106 Subtraction
6
×

6
7*10* 2*106 Multiplication
7  6
÷

2  6
(7*106) ÷ (2*106) Division

###### Scientific Notation

π

π represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter (approximately 3.14).
π is also known as pi.
π is primarily a multiplier.

When an answer shows π immediately adjacent to a number, an invisible multiplication sign is in force:
5 × π = 5π

Input Display Comment
5 ×  5*π
###### π

Toggle

The toggle button enables switching between results:
fraction ⇔ decimal
square root ⇔ decimal
π ⇔ decimal

Input Display Comment
1  4  $\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{4}$
$\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{4}$
0.25 Toggle
$\bf\displaystyle\frac{1}{4}$ Toggle
48

48

4√3

6.928203230276 Toggle

4√3

Toggle
π
π
3.1415922654 Toggle
π Toggle

## 3 thoughts on “Calculator”

1. Peg Harvey says:

I am trying to start a GED prep class and appreciate your resources.

2. Hi, Peg

Good luck with your class. Let me know if there’s anything more I can do to help.

Scott

3. ! says:

thankyou for the breakdown on the calculator! i have been struggling on learning how to navigate it! thankyou!