GED Calculator-Why You Need It

On the GED® Math test (2nd part), you are allowed to use a Texas Instruments TI-30XS Multiview Scientific Calculator. Students often refer to this calculator as the GED Calculator.

If you don’t bring your own calculator, there will be an online version of the Texas Instruments TI-30XS calculator on the computer screen.

You must know how to use this type of calculator because some of the features work differently than a “normal” calculator.

Why do you need a scientific calculator on the GED test?

On the GED Math test, there will be at least 3-4 tasks that will require the use of the advanced functions of the scientific calculator. For example, you might see this kind of question:

Solve the equation for x:
x2 + 4x = 5

To solve it, you will need to use the quadratic formula, and it’s complicated unless you have access to a scientific calculator and you know how to activate the polynomial solver on this calculator.

Then this question is super simple. By the way, the answer is 1 or -5.

This scientific calculator is able to handle all equations thrown at it.

A basic calculator is okay for solving things like simple equations. A scientific calculator, however, allows you to input problems that require you to apply the order of operations.

A basic calculator is not capable of dealing with equations and order of operations problems correctly as it cannot determine what numbers should be dealt with first.

When you use the GED scientific calculator (TI-30XS), you don’t have to worry about PEMDAS (the order of operations). Your calculator applies those rules correctly for you.

If you enter your such equations into this scientific calculator, it is going to produce the correct answers. This is because things like parentheses are included optionally which allows you to deal with more complex equations and problems.

This application is telling the calculator which operation must be performed first, just like you would do on paper.

The scientific calculator will quickly solve questions about GCF and LCM or exponents just like so many other things.

Take full advantage of the fact that you can use the GED Scientific Calculator when you take the GED test. The scientific GED calculator allows you to perform a number of functions easily which will increase your GED score considerably.

Scientific calculator on the GED Math, Science, and Social Studies tests

On the GED Math test, you can use a hand-held calculator (the Texas Instruments TI-30XS Multiview Scientific Calculator) on the second part of the math test or use an on-screen provided calculator.

You can also a calculator on parts of the GED Science and Social Studies subtests.

On the GED Math test and certain parts of the Science and Social Studies tests, you will receive a Reference Sheet that demonstrates how the on-screen calculator works and what functions can be used to deal with complex problems such as calculating with fractions and order of operations.

However, it’s better if you’ll understand how this device works, so purchase one early and get used to working with it. The calculator should also be used on the GED Social Studies test and this website provides many tips on how you can ace the Social Studies subtest fast and efficiently.

You should also take multiple practice tests (available at no cost on this website) to get used to the GED testing format and optimize your testing skills.

Taking practice tests will make sure you’ll get used to the real thing fast and reduce test anxiety. Taking practice tests will help you identify your weak and robust knowledge fields so you can center on those topics that need your attention most.

GED calculator online

You may also download the GED Scientific Calculator Chrome extension ( you can find easily by typing “GED calculator online”) in the Google search engine.

This scientific calculator is created explicitly for GED students, and the calculator’s functions are designed in such a way that you won’t need to use a “second” button.

This GED calculator features ten memory locations, direct entry of fractions, unlimited parentheses levels, conversion between fractions & decimals, percents, and a “pi” button (read more below).

Scientific calculators understand the rules of order of operations (PEMDAS) and are very helpful with scientific notations, square roots, percentages, fractions, exponents, etc.

Let’s look at some of the functions:

    • Basic Arithmetic (to enter operation symbols and numbers and perform basic arithmetic using the standard math order of operations)
    • Percentages (to calculate with numbers and percentages)
    • Fractions (to perform fraction calculations; answers will be formatted in their reduced forms automatically. Also: conversion between fractions & decimals)
    • Mixed Numbers (to perform mixed number calculations; answers will be formatted in their reduced forms automatically
    • Powers & Roots (to perform calculations with powers & roots)
    • Scientific Notation (to perform scientific notation calculations)
    • Toggle Key (this function is used to toggle display results between exact square roots and decimals, fractions and decimal answers, and pi and decimals.

This online calculator provides basic and advanced mathematical functions useful for GED, high school, and college students.

GED calculator manual

Here is the video that explains in detail how you can operate the GED calculator during the GED test directly from your keyboard, as well as use the buttons with your mouse.

Watch this video on how to use the TI-30XS On-Screen Calculator.

Tips & tricks for using the on-screen calculator

Check out these tips and tricks that will help you complete the GED Math test in a timely manner when you are using the on-screen provided scientific calculator rather than using your own TI-30XS calculator.

  1. On part two of the GED Math test, a calculator icon will appear on your computer screen. You should click and drag it to a place on your screen that doesn’t cover up the GED Math test question.
  2. To be able to move the calculator, just hold your cursor over it. Press your mouse and drag it to the spot you want it to be. Once it’s there, simply release the mouse.
  3. If you don’t any longer want the on-screen calculator, simply click on the X (at the calculator’s top) and you’ll see it disappear

Bear in mind that you won’t find any “Equal” (=) button your on-screen calculator. Instead, simply push the “enter” button.

GED testing is for individuals that didn’t complete their high school curriculum. The exam offers them one more shot at earning a credential that is across North America recognized as a regular HS degree and accepted as such by practically all post-secondary education institutes, government departments and agencies, and employers.


Last Updated on February 11, 2021.

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