Considering that the GRE test includes a quantitative reasoning section, getting to know if Calculators are allowed for the GRE test and what calculators are allowed on the GRE test?
Can a Calculator Be Used on the GRE Test?
A calculator can be used on the GRE test. However, you are not to bring your calculator. An on-screen calculator is provided for the Computer-based test, while a similar calculator is provided for those taking the paper-based test. It is essential to use a similar calculator while preparing for the GRE test. So, this article will guide you on what the GRE test calculator looks like and its functions.
Features of the GRE Calculator
The GRE on-screen calculator can be hidden or revealed by the test-taker throughout the quantitative reasoning section. It would be a diversion to have the calculator on your screen for other sections. Some features of the GRE test calculator are addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square, square root, parentheses, decimal, and significant change. There is also a store and recall answers function, the MR, MC, and M+. The GRE calculator can transfer answers from the calculator to the answer box.
Display of the GRE Calculator
The GRE calculator displays a maximum of 8 digits, including decimals. The calculator automatically writes numbers greater than 100 in standard American form. Any attempt to calculate a number higher than eight digits ends up with an error message. When a number has more than eight decimal places, the calculator displays zero. Although it showed zero, the calculator still knows the real answer, and when you do another calculation with zero, the calculator will give the real answer.
Functions of Each Button on the GRE Calculator
There are 25 buttons on the GRE calculator representing numbers, signs, and other functions. There is also a transfer display button that helps transfer your answer from the calculator to the answer box. Here are the parts of each button below.
Note: Click on the calculator to get a blue outline before accepting any command you input.
Numbers: The calculator has 0-9 digits arranged like that of a mobile phone keypad. Numbers can be entered from the computer keyboard or by clicking the numbers on the calculator.
Clear Input “C”: This button is used for clearing all inputs on the display screen and refund back to zero. However, this function does not clear any stored memory.
Clear Entry” CE”: this button clears the last number you inputted but does not clear the entire figures on the display screen. This is a helpful feature, especially when there is a large number on the display screen and you want to take off one number.
Note: CE or C does not remove the answer you have already transferred to the answer box; they only clear off the display on the calculator.
Decimal “.”: This button is used to input decimal points on numbers. The sign can also be inputted using the keyboard shortcut. The American system of decimals is used in the GRE, so decimals are applied by a full-stop, not a comma.
Positive/Negative “+/-“: this button is used to toggle back and forth between the positive and negative of a number. The keyboard cannot be used to make a negative number; this button must be used.
Square Root “√”: This button is used to take the square root of a number. The number must first be inputted before clicking the square root button. An attempt to take the square root of a negative number will give an error message.
Division “÷”: This button is used for division functions
Multiplication “x”: This is used for any multiplication operation.
Subtraction “-“: This button is used for subtracting one number by another.
Addition “+”: This button is used for adding two or more numbers.
Parentheses “()”: This is a handy button. It is used for manipulating the order of operations. The GRE test calculator uses PEDMAS system. This means that whatever part of the equation is in parentheses is the part that is first processed, followed by the exponents, division, multiplication, addition, and subtraction.
There is no option for nested parentheses on the GRE calculator. In the case of nested parentheses, you would have to solve each part separately until it has been reduced to just one parenthesis.
Equals To “=”: This function is used to equate an operation. The enter or return keys on the keyboard can be used as equals too. The sign can also be used to get around the calculator’s order of operations.
Memory Sum “M+”: This button is used to store an answer that would be utilized later. When this button is pressed, an M will pop up at the left corner of the display screen, indicating that a reply has been stored. The answer can be cleared, and the M will remain telling that there is a stored answer.
Memory Recall “MR”: This button is used to recall a saved answer. This button can be pressed when beginning a calculation or at the end.
Memory Clear “MC”: This button is used to clear the saved answer. When this button is pressed, the M display on the left of the screen will disappear.
The memory functions are handy for complex arithmetic since they can be used for storing answers and reusing them for future calculations.
Transfer Display: The transfer display button is grey when there is no answer on display. The switch turns dark grey when there is an answer that can be transferred. For some questions, the transfer display would remain grey, implying that the answer cannot be shared. When the transfer display is dark grey, it means you can click on it, and the solution you compute would be transferred from the calculator to the answer box on the test. Transfer display cannot share fractional answers, and it moves answers as they are on the calculator even if they have a different requirement on the test.
The calculator on the GRE test for both computer and paper-based is to assist you with the quantitative section and should not be solely relied on for every answer.