Basics
The TI30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator, pictured at the top of this page, is the official calculator of the GED. The GED provides an onscreen TI30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator during the test, but you will need the handheld TI30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator while you study before the test, especially outside of class. As a supplement to the onscreen calculator, you should bring your own handheld calculator for use at the test. No other brand of handheld calculator is allowed. The TI30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator is available for under $20.00 from many different vendors, including Amazon, Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, and Walmart, to name a few.
GED.com and the GED Testing Service provide several study materials regarding the calculator, including the following:
• calculator tutorial – english
• calculator tutorial – spanish
• onscreen calculator video – english
• onscreen 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.
Calculator Click  What You See  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
Clearing 
Number Sense
Number Sense means knowing your way around numbers.
Number Sense’s core skills involve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
Calculator Click  What You See  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
5 + 3  5+3  Addition 
8  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
6 – 4  64  Subtraction 
2  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
5 × 7  5*7  Multiplication 
35  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
72 ÷ 8  72÷8  Division 
9  Answer  
Number Sense 
Negatives
The () button is used for calculating with negative numbers (numbers less than zero).
Calculator Click  What You See  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
5 + 3  5+ ^{—}3  Addition 
2  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
6 – 4  6 ^{—}4  Subtraction 
10  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
5 × 7  5* ^{—}7  Multiplication 
^{—}35  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
72 ÷ 8  72÷ ^{—}8  Division 
^{—}9  Answer  
Negatives 
Decimals
The decimal button is used frequently.
Calculator Click  What You See  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
5 + 3  5+.3  Addition 
5.3  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
6 – 4  6.4  Subtraction 
5.6  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
5 × 7  5*.7  Multiplication 
3.5  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
72 ÷ 8  72÷.8  Division 
90  Answer  
Decimals 
Percent
activates above
% is primarily a multiplier.
Calculator Click  What You See  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
5 × 3  5%*3  Multiplication 
0.15  Answer  
Percent 
Fractions
A calculator operation with fractions produces an answer in fraction form.
Calculator Click  What You See  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
1 2 + 1 4  +  Addition 
Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
1 2 – 1 4  –  Subtraction 
Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
1 2 × 1 4  *  Multiplication 
Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
1 2 ÷ 1 4  ÷  Division 
2  Answer  
Fractions 
Mixed Fractions (also known as Mixed Numbers)
activates above
A calculator operation with mixed fractions produces an answer in fraction form.
Calculator Click  What You See  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
1 1 2 + 1 1 4 
+  Addition 
Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
1 1 2 – 1 1 4 
–  Subtraction 
Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
1 1 2 × 1 1 4 
*  Multiplication 
Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
1 1 2 ÷ 1 1 4 
÷  Division 
Answer  
Mixed Numbers 
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
Calculator Click  What You See  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
3  3²  3 squared 
9  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
3  (3)²  3 squared
Parentheses protect order of operations. 
9  Answer  
Number² 
Square Root
activates above
Square Root = √Number² = √Number × Itself
Square Root of 9 = √9 = √3² = √3 × 3 = 3
Sometimes, by using factoring, the calculator will produce an answer that retains the square root symbol:
Square Root of 48 = 4√3
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.
Calculator Click  What You See  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
9 
√9 
Square Root of 9 
3  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
48 
√48 
Square Root of 48 
4√3 
Answer  
Square Root 
Power
Number^{Power}
The term power refers to how many times a number is multiplied by itself.
7 to the power of 5 = 7^{5} = 7 × 7 × 7 × 7 × 7 = 16807
7 to the power of 5 = 7^{5} = × × × × = 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 = 7^{4} = 2401
Calculator Click  What You See  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
7 4  7^{4}  7 to the power of 4 
2401  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
7 4  (7)^{4}  7 to the power of 4
Parentheses protect order of operations. 
2401  Answer  
Power 
Root
activates above
^{Root}√Number
The root sign √ is also known as the radical sign.
Third Root of 343 = ³√343 = ³√7³ = ³√7 × 7 × 7 = 7
Fourth Root of 2401 = ^{4}√2401 = ^{4}√7^{4} = ^{4}√7 × 7 × 7 × 7 = 7
Fifth Root of 16807 = ^{5}√16807 = ^{5}√7^{5} = ^{5}√7 × 7 × 7 × 7 × 7 = 7
Calculator Click  What You See  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
3 343 
³√343 
Third Root of 343 
7  Answer  
Root 
Scientific Notation
Scientific notation is used to represent large or small numbers as a power of ten.
1 × 10^{6} = 1000000
7 × 10^{6} = 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 × 10^{6}) ÷ (2 × 10^{6}) = 3.5
Wrong: 7 × 10^{6} ÷ 2 × 10^{6} = 3.5 × 10^{12}
Calculator Click  What You See  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
7 6  7*10^{6}  Scientific Notation 
blinker  clears screen  
7 6 + 2 6 
7*10^{6 }+ 2*10^{6}  Addition 
9000000  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
7 6 – 2 6 
7*10^{6 }– 2*10^{6}  Subtraction 
5000000  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
7 6 × 2 6 
7*10^{6 }* 2*10^{6}  Multiplication 
1.4*10^{13 }  Answer  
blinker  clears screen  
7 6 ÷ 2 6 
(7*10^{6}) ÷ (2*10^{6})  Division
Parentheses protect order of operations. 
3.5  Answer  
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
Calculator Click  What You See  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
5 ×  5*π  
5π  Answer  
π 
Toggle
The toggle button enables switching between results:
fraction ⇔ decimal
square root ⇔ decimal
π ⇔ decimal
Calculator Click  What You See  Comment 
blinker  clears screen  
1 4  
0.25  Toggle  
Toggle  
blinker  clears screen  
48 
√48 

4√3 

6.928203230276  Toggle  
4√3 
Toggle  
blinker  clears screen  
π  
π  
3.1415922654  Toggle  
π  Toggle  
Toggle 
I am trying to start a GED prep class and appreciate your resources.
Hi, Peg
Good luck with your class. Let me know if there’s anything more I can do to help.
Scott
thankyou for the breakdown on the calculator! i have been struggling on learning how to navigate it! thankyou!
You’re welcome.