If this is your first time using a calculator, seeing all of these buttons and options can be confusing. However, whether you use a standard calculator or a scientific calculator, the basics are pretty much the same. Once you have learned what the buttons do and how to use them for different calculations, you will have no problem using your calculator whenever you need it, at school or anywhere else!

## Steps

### Method 1 of 2: Learn the basic functions

#### Step 1. Look for the power button, if there is one

Although most recent calculators are solar powered (meaning the light turns them on automatically) some also have an ON or ON / OFF button. If you see any of these buttons, tap it to turn your calculator on and off.

- If your calculator has an ON button, press it when it is on to turn it off.
- Some calculators turn off automatically after a few minutes of non-use.

#### Step 2. Add numbers with the + key

Push the button **+** between the numbers you want to add. For example, to add 5 and 10, press

**Step 5**., **+**, then

**Step 10**..

- Add additional digits to a series. For example, press
**+**and**Step 5**. to add it to the sum of 5 + 10. When you need the final result, press the button.**=**to get the sum of**Step 20**..

#### Step 3. Subtract the digits with the - (minus) button

Push the button - between two digits to subtract the second from the first. For example, press

**Step 7**., -, then

**Step 5**. to subtract 5 from 7 and press **=** to get the answer which is 2.

- Subtract additional digits from a series. For example, press - and
**2nd step**. to subtract it from the result of 7 - 5 and get a final result of 0. - Try to subtract numbers after adding them up.

#### Step 4. Divide digits with the ÷ or / key

You can also use it to convert fractions to decimals. For example, to divide 2 by 1, press

**2nd step**., **÷** e

**Step 1**. then on **=**. To change the fraction 4/5 to a decimal, press

**Step 4**., **/**

**Step 5**., then on **=**.

- If you are using a physical calculator, the division key is
**÷**. For calculators on computers, it is**/**. - Divide a series by pressing
**÷**Where**/**followed by a number. For example, if your calculator reads 2 ÷ 1, press**÷**and**2nd step**., then**=**to get a final result d**Step 1**..

#### Step 5. Multiply numbers with the x or * key

For example, to multiply 6 by 5, press

**Step 6**., **x**

**Step 5**., then **=**. The final answer is 30.

- Physical calculators often use
**x**as a multiplication key while calculators on computers use*****. - Multiply a series by pressing
**x**Where*****then on a number. For example, if your calculator says**6 x 5**, Press on**x**,**2nd step**., then**=**to get a final result of 60.

#### Step 6. Press = to get the answer to an equation

After entering numbers and operations (such as addition or subtraction), press **=** to get the final answer. For example, press

**Step 10**., **+**

**Step 10**., then on **=** to get the final answer: 20.

- Note that you cannot edit your equation without erasing everything after pressing
**=**only with the ← / → key, so always check your digits first!

#### Step 7. Clear your calculator's memory with the Clear or AC key

Whenever you need to clear the calculator memory and everything on the screen, press the key. **AC** Where **Clear**. For example, start with

**2nd step**., **x**

**2nd step**., followed by **=**. You should now see 4 on the screen, which is also saved in memory. Press the key **Clear** and the number will be reset to 0.

- The AC button means All Clear to Clear All.
- If you press
**+**, -,**x**Where**/**after 4 and then try to start a new equation without pressing Clear, this equation will be included in the current calculation. Always press**Clear**when you have to start over in the middle of a calculation.

#### Step 8. Press Return, Clear, or CE to clear the last number

If you want to clear the last number on your screen without clearing the entire equation, press the button **Return** Where **Wipe off**. For example, if you press

**Step 4**., **x**

**2nd step**., but you want to type

**Step 4**., **x**

**Step 3**., Press on **Wipe off** to delete the 2 then press

**Step 3**. and you will see 4 x 3 on the screen.

- The CE button means Clear Entry to Clear the value.
- If you press
**Clear**instead of Return or Delete, your equation will be reset to 0.

#### Step 9. Press. (period) to create decimal numbers

First press the number before the decimal, press., tap the number after the decimal, and then tap **=**. For example, to create 50, 6, press

**Step 5**., **0**,.

**Step 6**., then on **=**.

- If you add, subtract, multiply or divide after creating your decimal number, you won't have to press
**=**. - Use the keys
**+**, -,**x**and**÷**to add, subtract, multiply and divide decimals respectively.

#### Step 10. Convert the numbers to percentages with the% button

Push the button **%** to divide the number displayed on the screen by 100, which turns it into a percentage. For example, if you want to know what 7% of 20 is, start by pressing

**Step 7**. then on **%** to get 0.07. Then press **x** then knew

**Step 20**. to multiply the percentage (0.07) by 20, which gives you your answer: 1, 4.

- To convert a percentage into a number, multiply it by 100. In the last example, you typed
**Step 7**. and**%**to get 0.07. Now press**x**and then on**100**to multiply it by 100 and get the original number: 7.

#### Step 11. Create fractions

To create fractions, you must use the parentheses buttons and the division key. Always start with a left parenthesis, **(**, followed by the numerator, which is the number above the line. Then press the **÷** Where **/**, then finish by pressing **)**. For example, you will get 5/6 by pressing **(**, **Step 5**., **/**

**Step 6**., then **)**.

- Use the keys
**+**, -,**x**and**÷**to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions respectively. Remember to put parentheses around each fraction, otherwise the calculation will be wrong!

#### Step 12. Add and subtract temporary memory

To do this, use the M keys. The M + and M- keys add and subtract the number displayed on the screen from the calculator's temporary memory. For example, press

**Step 5**. then on **M +** to add 5 to this memory. Now type again

**Step 5**. then press **M**- to remove it.

- Temporary storage is not affected by the Clear or Back keys.
- If you want to reset the calculator's temporary memory, press
**MC**. - You can use temporary memory to perform simple calculations between two more complex calculations.

### Method 2 of 2: Use a scientific calculator

#### Step 1. Create the inverse of a number by pressing 1 / x or x ^ -1

Also known as the reverse key, this key gives you the reciprocal of any number, which is equal to 1 divided by the number. For example, the reciprocal of 2, which as a fraction is 2/1, is 1/2. It means you can type

**2nd step**. then **1 / x** to get a response of 1/2 (0.5 in decimal).

### The multiplication of a digit by its reciprocal is always equal to 1

#### Step 2. Find the square of a number by pressing X ^ 2 or yx

The square of a number is obtained by multiplying that number by itself. For example, the square of 2 is 2 x 2, which gives 4. If you type

**2nd step**. in the calculator and press **X ^ 2** Where **yx**, the answer is 4.

- The second function of the square button is usually
**√**, which is the square root. The square root is the value that transforms the square (for example 4) into its root (in this case, 2). For example, the square root of 4 is 2, so pressing**Step 4**. then on**√**, you will get a final answer of 2.

#### Step 3. Calculate the exponent of a number by pressing ^, x ^ y, or yX

The exponent (or power) of a number is the number of times it is multiplied by itself. The exponent key takes the first number (x) and multiplies it by itself a number of times determined by y. For example, 2 ^ 6 is 2 to the power of 6, which is equal to 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2. This can be calculated with the power button using this order of operations: press

**2nd step**., Press on **x ^ y**, press

**Step 6**., then press **=**. The final answer is 64.

- Any number (x) to the power of 2 is called x squared, while any number (x) to the power of 3 is called x cubed.
- The key
**^**is most commonly found on graphing calculators while the keys**x ^ y**and**yX**can be found on scientific calculators.

#### Step 4. Calculate the scientific notation using the EE or EXP button

Scientific notation is a method of expressing large numbers, such as 0.0000000057, in a simpler way. In this case, the scientific notation is 5.7 x 10-9. To change a number to scientific notation, enter the number (5, 7), and then press **EXP**. Then press the exponent number (9), the key -, then on **=**.

- Do not press the multiply (x) key after pressing
**EE**Where**EXP**. - Use the button
**+/**- to modify the sign of the number of exhibitors.

#### Step 5. Use your calculator for trigonometry

To find the sine, cosine, or tangent of an angle, start by entering the angle's value in degrees. Then press the button **sin**, **cos** Where **tan** to obtain respectively the sine, the cosine or the tangent.

- To convert sine to angle, tap the sine value, and then type
**sin-1**Where**arcsin**. - If you want to transform the cosine or tangent of an angle to an angle value, tap the cosine or tangent value, and then tap
**cos-1**Where**arccos**. - If your calculator does not have the arcsin, sin-1, arccos, or cos-1 buttons, press the key
**function**Where**shift**, then on the standard button**sin**Where**cos**to transform their values into angles.