10 Calculator Buttons you need in your life #revision #gcse #alevel

Before we start, let me get one thing out of the way – you will only get so far without showing your working. Nevertheless, even a seasoned Maths student needs some calculator skills from time to time. Enjoy.

1. Time conversion between decimal and hours/mins/secs can be tricky. Check your answer with the snazzy ‘commas and dot’ button:


Type your decimal, e.g. 2.4 (hours) press equal then convert with the button below Alpha B.

Your life is now complete.

(As Will Davies rightly pointed out on my earlier post: I use it for time, but this button is actually to convert angles into degrees, minutes and seconds ie fractions of degrees – 60ths and 3600ths)

2. Prime Factorisation

Want to check your product of primes? Or better still, check whether a number is prime?


Simply type your number, press equal then convert with FACT (next to the Alpha B). If the number doesn’t change, it is prime.

3. Polar Co-ordinates

This is not just one for the Further Mathematicians. ‘Pol’ can be used for Pythagoras, Trig, Complex Numbers…


Pol is above the + . Use to change (x,y) to Polar form. Enjoy!

4. Multiple Calculations

Want to type multiple calculations at the same time? Use the Alpha : button…


(Above the x cubed on this model)

Press equal multiple times to reveal the multiple answers.

Why is this useful? Well…

5. Verify your Algebra (numerically)

Go to MODE then VERIFY…

Now type some algebra that you have manipulated and press equals. This works for all kinds of Identities up to A Level:


6. Recurring Decimals

Want to change from recurring decimals to fractions? The latest casios will do this for you (above the x squared), but remember you need to know the method! Start by proving this to amaze your friends…


7. Frequency Tables

To turn on the Frequency Column for Stats tables, go to ‘Setup’ (usually shift>mode) and scroll down to STAT – you should now have the option to switch the frequency on. Now, in STAT mode, you will see the following under 1-VAR:

freq column

Once you enter your data, press AC, then STAT (above the 1) and you can analyse to your heart’s content.


In Mode>STAT don’t forget you have acces to more than just your run of the mill ‘Stats’. See below:

stat button

9. Percentages

Playing around with the percentage button for converting between % and Fractions / Decimals is probably the key button for non-mathematicians working in finance or business:


10. Surds

…and yes, whisper it, your calculator will do Surds for you.


(Thanks to Dr Heptinstall for his guidance and mad calc skills)

4 thoughts on “10 Calculator Buttons you need in your life #revision #gcse #alevel

  1. Pingback: » Calculator hacks

  2. Pingback: GCSE Maths Revision Tips | RGS Maths

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