The high school equivalency test allows you to use a calculator on part of the math test. The test is split into two separate sections: one where you CAN use the calculator and one where you CANNOT use the calculator. On the first section, you can use a calculator. If you take the paper/pencil version of the high school equivalency test, the calculator will be furnished to you by the testing site, but it will always be the Casio 260-fx Solar.
If you take the computer version of the high school equivalency and want to use the Casio 260-fx Solar calculator, you will be required to bring your own. They WILL NOT furnish it to you. However, there will be a built-in calculator that students may use, but it will NOT be the Casio 260-fx. It will be the Texas Instruments TI-30xs.
Before taking the high school equivalency test, it is a good idea to practice.
If you have the calculator - the Casio fx-260 Solar - pull it out and let's get started. If you don't have it, you have a couple of different options:
1. Go to Wal-Mart and purchase one, the cost is
somewhere around $10.00
2. Go to an high school equivalency classroom, they should have some there for you to practice with. I would highly recommend practicing with one before you go take the test.
If you are unable to purchase a calculator or go to a classroom, you can practice with a similar calculator at the following websites:
These calculators are not the same as what is on the high school equivalency test, but will have many of the functions that are used on the high school equivalency test. You can use the online versions to complete the exercises in this section.
watch a video introduction to the calculator
Okay, here are the important parts to the calculator that you will definitely need to know.
We'll go into each of these functions in a little bit.
Also notice that there are functions in yellow above the buttons. You'll also
need to know some of them as well (although there are quite a few that you won't
need to know...don't panic if you don't recognize all the symbols). To access
these functions, you must first push the Shift
key located in the upper left corner of the calculator.
Okay, now let's practice using the calculator a little.
Order of Operations
First, do you remember the Order of Operations? (if not, take a look at the Pre-Algebra worksheet in class). Remember: Purple Elephants May Destroy A School (or Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally). That's the order in which an equation should be worked.
Purple = P = Parenthesis
Elephants = E = Exponent
May = M = Multiplication
Destroy = D = Division
A = A = Addition
School = S = Subtraction
The good news is that the calculator automatically does the order of operations for you. All you have to do is type the equation in from left to right exactly as you see it. Try this example:
7 * 8 - 4 * 5 =
What did you get? Your calculator should have spit out 36. It automatically knew to first multiply 7*8 then 4*5 before subtracting. Pretty cool, eh?
How about trying one with parenthesis. As above, all you need to do is to type the equation into the calculator from left to right exactly as you see it .
3 * 9 ÷ (2 * 3) + 8 =
Did you get 12.5? If not, check the above graphic to see where you went wrong.
Now, try some other problems:
1. 3 + 5 * 4 =
2. 6 + 1 * 5 =
3. 15 - 3 ÷ 3 =
4. 18 - 6 ÷ 3 =
5. 12 * 56 ÷ (2 + 4) * 4 =
6. 2 * [7 + 6 * (5 + 4)] =
7. 12 ÷ 4 + 8 - 6 =
8. 7982 ÷ 234 * (6 - 2) =
9. 5 + [6 + 2 * (3 + 9)] =
Answers: 1. 23; 2. 11; 3. 14; 4. 16; 5. 448; 6. 122; 7. 5; 8. 136.444; 9. 35