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Scientific calculators: buying tips

Most people will need a scientific calculator at some stage in their education (usually at high school or college) in order to solve complicated mathematical problems. A basic calculator will only perform simple and straightforward calculations, but a scientific calculator will work out complicated formulae and perform various trigonometric functions.

Scientific calculators are designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, and you will also be able to find videos online to learn how to use them.

Points to remember when making a purchase

  • When shopping for a scientific calculator, look for one with at least a two- line screen and make sure it has an alpha-numeric keyboard. Most calculators have a two- line display, but some have four lines.
  • Check with your maths or science tutor for details of the exact functions you need. Most scientific calculators have logarithmic, trigonometric and exponential functions, and also include features for storing scientific constants and writing scientific notations. Even so, calculators vary, so read the product descriptions carefully.
  • Junior scientific calculators usually have fewer functions

For a short lesson on using a scientific calculator, visit YouTube.