Calculator Workout

Important skills you should practise using in order to make the most your scientific calculator.


Select your calculator model:


This is an activity for you to do on your own calculator. It is important the you become familiar with the calculator you will use in class and in exams.

Refer to the skill list below to find the skill you would like to learn. Watch the animation and then practise answering the questions in the exercise with your own calculator.

Skill List


1. To make your calculator work in degrees (rather than radians or gradians) press the key a number of times until you see:


Press the number key 1 to select degrees.


To initialise the calculation mode and setup, and clear replay memory and variables press .

To clear the variables press .

A printable sheet on which pupils can make notes and keep a record of the calculator skills they learn is available to Transum subscribers:


Random Numbers

Most scientific calculators come with a built in function to produce random numbers. The Casio fx350es plus, fx82es, fx83es, fx85GT plus range have, above the decimal point key, a function called RanInt. It is written in red so is accessed after pressing the Alpha button at the top of the keypad.

The video to the right show how the RanInt function is used to emulate the rolling of a normal, six-sided dice.

More Activities

If you enjoyed doing this activity you might like to try some of the activities on the Calculator topic page.

If you have a TI-Nspire CX calculator (GDC) you will probably be interested in 20 essential skills, beyond the basics, put together in a 'learn a skill a day' presentation called GCD Essentials.


TI-Nspire Essential Skills

TI-Nspire Essential Skills

Learn a skill a day for 20 days in order to get the most out of this graphic display calculator.

The short web address is:

Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for those learning Mathematics anywhere in the world. Click here to enter your comments.

Online Exercise

Using A Calculator

Using A Calculator

Questions to test your ability to use a basic calculator, scientific calculator and a graphic display calculator.

The short web address is:


Broken Calculator

Broken Calculator

Some of the buttons are missing from this calculator. Can you make the totals from 1 to 20?

The short web address is:


HCF and LCM Calculator

HCF and LCM Calculator

A demonstration of how to find the highest common factor (HCF or GCD) and the lowest common multiple (LCM) of two numbers.

The short web address is:


Inverse Trig Calculator

Inverse Trig Calculator

This calculator is designed to find all of the angles for a given trigonometric ratio and show them on a graph.

The short web address is:


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