## Scientific calculators: what you need to know

Scientific calculators provide the functionality students need to support their learning and strengthen their understanding of maths – as well as the sciences and other subjects – up to GCSE level and potentially beyond.

The range of potential applications of these devices is vast and diverse. Calculating cube roots and powers, statistical and regression calculations, trigonometric functions and solving equations are just a few examples of what they can do.

## How to use a scientific calculator

As far as classroom applications of these devices are concerned, there are all sorts of ways to use scientific calculators. Teachers can use them to model equation problems and ask students to find the solution, for example, or provide an introduction to statistics and probability distributions using the fx-991CW.

When it comes to learning how to operate your chosen model, we would always recommend using it as much as possible. When teachers always have a handset available in the classroom, they can use the natural enthusiasm and curiosity of their students to get the best out of it.

We’ve created an in-depth introduction to how to use a scientific calculator, which covers some of the core functionality of our ClassWiz models and answers questions such as:

• What functions does a scientific calculator offer?

• Can a scientific calculator solve equations with multiple variables?

• Do scientific calculators support complex number calculations?

A basic scientific calculator is the minimum you require for exams. However a more advanced model such as the fx-991EX will give you advantages for learning and in the exam, for example with solving equations.

## Choosing a scientific calculator

It’s important to choose a scientific calculator that meets your needs in terms of functionality and capabilities.

The fx-83GT CW and fx-85GT CW are Casio’s entry-level scientific calculators. They provide all the functionality required to support learning and understanding of key stage 3 maths, including arithmetic and fraction calculations, powers and roots, highest common factor (GCD), lowest common multiple, number tables and more.

GCSE maths students – particularly those studying Further Maths and planning to progress to A-level – would benefit from the more advanced functions of the fx-991CW.

This handset, our most advanced scientific calculator, is capable of approximating the solutions to equations, calculus, calculating normal and binomial probability distributions and a lot more.

## The ClassWiz range of scientific calculators

The fx-83GT CW, fx-85GT CW and fx-991CW make up the Casio ClassWiz range.

These handsets have recently benefited from a significant upgrade, which has delivered improvements including:

• A more intuitive menu structure

• New Home, Back and OK keys for easier navigation

• A new Function key, allowing input and manipulation of f(x) and g(x) to recall saved equation data

### Go advanced

The Casio fx-991EX is Casio’s most advanced scientific calculator. Part of the ClassWiz range – features include calculus, probability distributions, equation solvers, matrices and vectors, and spreadsheets.

### Not all scientific calculators are created equal

ClassWiz technology in the fx-85GTX significantly importunes ease of use. The high resolution menu-driven display is crisp, with scrolling results and tables.

## Passionate about classroom education

Maths is a visual subject. A graphic calculator allows you to draw graphs and statistical charts, while doing the same calculations as on a scientific calculator. Some schools now use our fx-CG50 graphic calculator which gives a significant learning advantage, especially at the Higher tier. Please see below on why it might be worth considering this calculator.

### Resources

You can also find free resources covering specific functions and operations of Casio’s scientific calculators in our online resources centre.

### Emulators

Teachers can request a free licence for use in classrooms, remote and blended learning (available in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Ireland).

### Comparison Chart

There are two main types of calculator: scientific and graphic. A scientific calculator can only be used for calculation. A graphic calculator makes calculations, shows surds as exact answers and displays graphs.