3 often overlooked features of a good GCSE maths calculator
As you guide your students through the challenges of studying the GCSE maths syllabus and preparing for exams, we at Casio want to provide as much support as possible to help you achieve the best outcomes.
That includes providing information and resources related to our calculators, as well as other technologies and solutions designed to make your life easier.
When it comes to choosing the best calculator for GCSE maths, certain features are essential, such as:
- A range of calculation functions, including arithmetic, trigonometric, logarithmic and exponential
- Statistics capabilities including mean, standard deviation and quartiles
- Table of values for up to two functions
But beyond these fundamentals, what other aspects of a calculator can make a difference to students preparing for their GCSE maths exams?
Students have a lot to think about as they’re going through the process of preparing for and sitting their GCSE maths exams. One of the things they shouldn’t have to worry about is the usability and accessibility of their calculator.
When a device is designed to be as simple and straightforward to use as possible, it makes life easier not only for students, but also for teachers. It’s important that you feel completely comfortable with any technology that has a significant role to play in your lessons.
The value of user-friendliness becomes particularly clear at exam time, when students need to keep their stress levels to a minimum and work as efficiently as possible under timed conditions.
Ease of use was a key consideration in the recent redesign of Casio’s ClassWiz range of scientific calculators. The fx-83/85GT and fx-991 models that make up this series have been upgraded with features including a simpler key layout, rounded keys and a textured side-grip.
The new ClassWiz calculators also have a clear menu structure to access functions and Home, Back and OK keys for more intuitive navigation.
GCSE maths students can gain more value from their calculators when they’re able to change settings that make the handset easier to use, provide more accurate answers, or both.
When students are going into exams, for example, they should know how to clear any previous setup configurations and put their calculator in its default state, effectively giving themselves a clean slate to work from.
It’s also beneficial for learners to be able to adjust the input and output settings on their calculators. This provides options such as being able to choose between answers displaying as fractions or decimals.
Similarly, the ability to switch between radians and degrees could prove crucial to coming up with the right answer in some higher-tier GCSE maths exam papers.
Graphic and scientific calculators are powerful tools on their own, but they can be even more useful when combined with other solutions, such as specialist software to enhance learning.
A good example of this is ClassPad, our recently launched virtual learning environment, which boasts features including emulators for all models in the ClassWiz range.
The software has many other functions that complement and add to the capabilities available on Casio’s scientific calculators, opening up new opportunities to drive engagement and collaboration in GCSE maths classes.
ClassPad’s graphing tools, for example, enable you to enter a function and display the corresponding graph to the entire class, which saves time, prompts discussion and helps students engage with the learning.
If you want to find out more about Casio calculators, as well as the other tools and resources we offer to support GCSE maths teachers, there are various ways to get in touch.
Here’s how to contact us.