Scientific Calculator Tricks for A Level Maths. Watch

lordoftheties
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Admittedly, tricks isnt the word for it. But there are certain features of the scientifica calculator that most of us have bought for our exams that could let us proof check our answers! I know of a few that come in handy for C3 and C4:

Use the integration button to calculate an integral.
Use the differentiation button to calculate differentials.

Anybody know of any others?

Community Team: There's an excellent thread discussing best calculators for A level Maths here
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Vanilla Poison
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If you don't know already, learn how to store numbers on your calculator. Especially useful for stats and mechanics.
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KaylaB
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(Original post by lordoftheties)
Admittedly, tricks isnt the word for it. But there are certain features of the scientifica calculator that most of us have bought for our exams that could let us proof check our answers! I know of a few that come in handy for C3 and C4:

Use the integration button to calculate an integral.
Use the differentiation button to calculate differentials.

Anybody know of any others?
Is that not cheating? I thought you weren't allowed calculators with the ability to integrate
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lordoftheties
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(Original post by KaylaB)
Is that not cheating? I thought you weren't allowed calculators with the ability to integrate
Correct. but when has anyone ever checked? Also, I doubt there are any calculators that DONT readily available from the highstreet...apart from the non-scientific ones!
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the bear
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you can spell words... √641335095556 is a good place to start

Spoiler:
Show
you must turn it upside down ?
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SaadKaleem
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(Original post by KaylaB)
Is that not cheating? I thought you weren't allowed calculators with the ability to integrate
(Original post by lordoftheties)
Correct. but when has anyone ever checked? Also, I doubt there are any calculators that DONT readily available from the highstreet...apart from the non-scientific ones!

I wish people understood what is the difference between numeric and symbolic integration/differentiation.
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lordoftheties
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(Original post by SaadKaleem)
I wish people understood what is the difference between numeric and symbolic integration/differentiation.
Never knew it was symbolic...forgive me good sir.
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PrinceNuada
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Okay, I have the Casio fx-9860, and you can do loads with it.

1) You can check your factorisations by going to Equation ---> Polynomial and tying in the coefficients of your equation

2) You can solve simultaneous equations by going to equation --->Simultaneous

3) You can solve any trig problem by typing in sinx/cosx/tanx, (for 'x' press the button two down from shift) and then separately typing in what this equation is equal to. Then use the 'gsolv' function to find the intersection points (the solutions). Alternate between radians and degrees by pressing shift, setup and scrolling down to rad/deg. For trig, automatically set the zoom level by pressing 'v-window' then 'trig'. Use 'INIT' (initialise) for other graphs.

4)You can check if you've plotted a modulus graph correctly by drawing it. But this time when in graph mode, you must press shift, 4 to get into the 'catalogue of functions' and scroll down until you get 'ABS' (absolute). Press enter and type in your modulus equation to draw it.

5) You can do recursion by going into the recursion mode from the menu. Just replace the x(n) from the question with 'an' (F2). Then press SET and scroll down to a(0) to set the 1st value.

There are literally a million things you can do with a graphical calculator! They are allowed because none of the above (or ANY function on a graphical calculator) is symbolic, just numerical.
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EricPiphany
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(Original post by lordoftheties)
Admittedly, tricks isnt the word for it. But there are certain features of the scientifica calculator that most of us have bought for our exams that could let us proof check our answers! I know of a few that come in handy for C3 and C4:

Use the integration button to calculate an integral.
Use the differentiation button to calculate differentials.

Anybody know of any others?
I use the Casio FX-991ES at the moment.
With regards to integration, you may get a error if the value of the integrand at one of the limits isn't defined. Adjusting the limit slightly will still serve as a useful check, because the values should be approximately the same.
Also, you can check indefinite integrals by choosing appropriate limits too, if you have some time to spare.
Learning how to use the CALC button is very useful, for example when you have for fill out a table for the trapezium method, or when you have to prove that a root exists in an interval.
Another thing that people don't realise is that these calculators can convert between rectangular and polar coordinates. On the Casio FX-991ES you can do this in two ways, using the Pol and Rec buttons, or in complex mode.
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