Key changes to the Casio fx-83/85 every teacher should know about - Casio Calculators

Key changes to the Casio fx-83/85 every teacher should know about

Nov 2023 Medium Read: 5 Min

At Casio we’re immensely proud that the fx-83GT CW and fx-85 GT CW – our entry-level scientific calculators – have become such important tools for many key stage 3 maths teachers.

We also understand that, for lots of people, adjusting to change is difficult, and familiarity with the previous models could mean some teachers are unsure about adopting the new ClassWiz range.

That’s why we’re doing everything we can to support schools and teachers in making this transition, including talking to education experts about the latest changes to our calculators and how to make the most of them.

We were delighted to speak to Claire Clay, Lead Practitioner for Maths at Ormiston Academies Trust, about some of the new features of the fx-83/85GT CW range in particular, and the benefits they offer for teachers and students.


Claire noted that one of the most significant changes to these calculators is the addition of the lowest common multiple (LCM) and greatest common divisor (GCD) features.

These can be particularly useful tools when tackling such topics with your KS3 classes, partly because they give students the freedom to do independent investigations and check their own work.

This enhanced functionality on the fx-83/85 models also enables quick and intuitive exploration of areas such as products of prime factors.

“It’s a really nice tool, which you can use to actually improve teaching and learning, rather than just enabling students to ask, ‘Did I get my answer right?'” Claire said.

Creating graphs with QR codes

Users of the updated fx-83/85GT CW range now have the option to create a QR code on the calculator and scan the code with their smartphone to display a graph.

Claire pointed out that this can be a big benefit to students who may not have access to the internet at home or don’t have a laptop to use graphing software.

“When doing questions or revision at home, if they’re working on a graphing question using the table function on their calculator, they can then generate a graph to see if they’ve plotted it correctly. That’s a really useful function,” she added.

Mathbox features

The Mathbox app is one of the most notable new features made available as part of our recent revamp of the ClassWiz range. It opens up various avenues of exploration for teachers and students alike, offering new routes into topics including probabilities and trigonometry.

Claire spoke about how making this sort of functionality easily accessible to students on their calculators can prove particularly useful for supporting independent work, exam preparation and revision.

“In the new Mathbox area you’ve got inequalities on a number line, which again is a clever new tool for students to be able to check their own work,” she said.

“This new tool helps them, especially when they’re doing revision and test questions, to do checks on the calculator to see if they’re getting the answers right. I think that’s a really important way of using the calculator.”

How to adjust to the changes

Let your students take the lead

Many teachers have told us that, when it comes to embracing new technologies, it’s often the students who lead the way and are quickest to adjust to change.

Claire put this into context with an example from a teacher of a year 7 class she recently spoke to, who when teaching her class needed to convert a fraction to a mixed number. The teacher was having to adjust to the differences in how the new ClassWiz calculators display answers.

“It shocked her that her students were completely happy with using the Format key, they were excited to find that in the Format menu you can change things to fractions, to decimals, to improper fractions,” she said. “Whereas teachers who are used to using the older version of the calculator are more likely to ask why things have changed. Year 7 students have never used a scientific calculator before and so they just see this as the norm.”

When students have this natural enthusiasm for discovering new things and an innate ability to adjust to new technologies, it can be a big help to teachers who are still getting used to the changes themselves.

Make the most of the help on offer

If you’re feeling a bit daunted by the changes taking place in the ClassWiz range, rest assured that there are plenty of resources available to help make the transition as smooth and easy as possible.

Claire recommended taking a step-by-step approach, and getting to grips with the new features and changes as you encounter them. In an effort to help teachers in this process, she has even created a collection of short, easily digestible information cards focusing on particular tasks and how to complete them on the fx-83/85GT CW.

They’re completely free to access on Google Drive and you can find them here. Some of the cards have QR codes linking to videos on the same topic.

On our dedicated ClassWiz help page, you can find more free resources including a quick start guide video, an in-depth familiarisation webinar and an option to register for ongoing updates.

Please do get in touch with us if you have any specific questions or want to discuss your school’s technology needs in more depth. We’re always here to help in any way we can.