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How to Use Your Calculator In Numerical Reasoning Tests

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All the information you need about using a calculator in Numerical Reasoning Tests (NRT). Including tips, examples and demonstrations, regarding two kinds of calculators: the basic and scientific ones.
For more numerical preparation guides and packs, go to our online NRT practice at www.jobtestprep.co.uk/numerical-reasoning-test

Published in: Education, Technology, Business

How to Use Your Calculator In Numerical Reasoning Tests

  1. 1. For Numerical Reasoning Tests Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  2. 2. Before you start watching the slideshow: • It is highly recommended that you watch all of the slideshow, since, at the end, there are important numerical examples which display effective calculator use. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  3. 3. Quick facts > Calculators in Numerical Tests • Many numerical reasoning tests require the use of a calculator. • When invited to take a test at an employer's assessment centre, you may be asked to bring your own calculator. • Using a scientific calculator is a better choice, as it helps save time when required to perform lengthy calculations. • Notice that you may be provided with a basic calculator. • Therefore, we will review how to optimise the use of both types of calculators. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  4. 4. The Basic Calculator Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  5. 5. Basic Calculator > Order of Typing • Basic calculators don’t have the Brackets or Indices (to the power of) functions. • Therefore, the calculation order is only affected by the typing order. For example: X-motors had 3 types of cars in 2001. In 2004, one more car type was added to the collection. In 2005, the number of cars in the collection multiplied by 8. Question: How would you calculate the number of cars in the end of 2005 using a basic calculator? Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  6. 6. Basic Calculator > Order of Typing Answer: To correctly work this out, you must first add the new car type to the original number (3+1), and then multiply by 8. When using a basic calculator, which doesn’t have a brackets button, you have to pay attention to your typing order. Typing 3+1x8 will yield, in this case, a correct answer, since a basic calculator calculates by the typing order. But, if you thought of typing: 8x3+1, the basic calculator would calculate 8X3 (=24) and then add 1, giving an incorrect answer of 25. Consequently, when using a basic calculator, it is recommended to first understand the question before automatically typing in the numbers in order to avoid miscalculations. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  7. 7. Basic Calculator > The Decimal Point • There is a neat little trick to save time when using the decimal point for numbers smaller than 1 (for example, when typing the number ‘0.05’): • Most people would insert a “0” before pressing the decimal point on the calculator, however it is not necessary. One could simply type ‘.05’, and thus save a second or two by omitting the first '0'. • Whilst this seems very trivial, it will help you save a lot of time when you have a question which requires the use of decimal calculations. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  8. 8. Basic Calculator > The Decimal Point Pressing .05: step #1 0. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  9. 9. Basic Calculator > The Decimal Point Pressing .05: step #2 0.0 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  10. 10. Basic Calculator > The Decimal Point Pressing .05: step #3 0.05 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  11. 11. Basic Calculator > Square Root and Powers • Some calculators require you to press the square root button before you type the number you want to square root, whereas others require the opposite – you have to type the number, and then you press the square root button. Test out your calculator before you begin your test to avoid pressing it incorrectly. • Shortcut to powers: If you press the X (multiplication) sign after a number and then the ‘equal’ sign, you will get the result of the second power of that number (e.g. “12x=“ 144). Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  12. 12. Basic Calculator > Square Root and Powers A shortcut for calculating 12²: step #1 1. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  13. 13. Basic Calculator > Square Root and Powers A shortcut for calculating 12²: step #2 12. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  14. 14. Basic Calculator > Square Root and Powers A shortcut for calculating 12²: step #3 12. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  15. 15. Basic Calculator > Square Root and Powers A shortcut for calculating 12²: step #4 144. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  16. 16. Basic Calculator > Percentages • A basic calculator has a % button, which allows you to quickly add or subtract a percentage of a number from that number. This is especially useful if you need to calculate an increase or decrease in a value. For example: A share price was £1.20 in the end of 2011. By the end of 2012 it increased by 15%. Question: What was the share price in the end of 2012? Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  17. 17. Basic Calculator > Percentages Using the percentage button in the calculator: Type in the number prior to the increase, followed by the + sign and the percentage you want to increase it by: ‘1.2’, followed by ‘+’, then ‘15’ followed by the ‘%’ button to arrive at the correct answer of £1.38 (“1.2+15%” =1.38) • Notice that the percentage button can also be used with multiplication. For example, if you want to find 15% of a given number, you simply multiply the number by 15%., i.e. ‘1.2 X 15 %’ = 0.18. • Note, that you could of course multiply 1.2 by 1.15 (which equals 15%) Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  18. 18. Basic Calculator > Percentages Adding 15% to 1.2: step #1 1 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  19. 19. Basic Calculator > Percentages Adding 15% to 1.2: step #2 1. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  20. 20. Basic Calculator > Percentages Adding 15% to 1.2: step #3 1.2 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  21. 21. Basic Calculator > Percentages Adding 15% to 1.2: step #4 1.2 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  22. 22. Basic Calculator > Percentages Adding 15% to 1.2: step #5 1 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  23. 23. Basic Calculator > Percentages Adding 15% to 1.2: step #6 15 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  24. 24. Basic Calculator > Percentages Adding 15% to 1.2: step #7 1.38 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  25. 25. To improve your scores in the numerical tests, continue practicing the calculation functions in our Numerical Reasoning Packs >> Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  26. 26. Basic Calculator > Memory Function There are three memory buttons in most basic calculators: MRC stands for Memory Recall M+ adds a number to the memory M- subtracts from the memory For example:  Type in a number you want to store in the memory (e.g. 5). Then click the M+ button. You should see a little ‘m’ appear somewhere at the top of your calculator screen, telling you that a number has been stored in the memory.  Now imagine you want to add 4 to the number stored in the memory; type in ‘4’ and then press ‘M+’. You will see the number 9 appear on the screen, because the latest number has been added to the memory (5+4=9). Typing ‘MCR’ will yield the number 9. This is the same with the M- button. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  27. 27. Basic Calculator > Memory Function step #1 5 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  28. 28. Basic Calculator > Memory Function step #2 M 5 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  29. 29. Basic Calculator > Memory Function step #3 M 4 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  30. 30. Basic Calculator > Memory Function step #4 M 4 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  31. 31. Basic Calculator > Memory Function step #5 M 9 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  32. 32. Basic Calculator > Memory Function • We recommend you to use the memory function in order to store your last answer, as it may be required in later calculations. • There are 3 main ways of clearing the memory when moving on to the next question:  Press the CLR button, and follow the on-screen instructions of your calculator to clear the memory when necessary.  Access the memory archive of your calculator; to do this, you must locate the memory button (or equivalent) on your calculator, press it, and follow the on-screen instructions to access the archive. From there, you will have the option to clear it.  Press on the MCR button twice in a row. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  33. 33. The Scientific Calculator Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  34. 34. Scientific Calculator > Brackets • The scientific Calculator has more functions (other than the basic ones), that will probably help simplify many complicated calculations. • Calculators usually follow the rule of BIDMAS; this stands for Brackets, Indices, Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction. • Therefore, the calculator will work out brackets first. • Note the use of the double brackets to ensure that nothing is calculated in the wrong order.  For example: typing ((4+5)-(1+3))*2 will ensure that the whole ‘(4+5)-(1+3)’ expression is doubled. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  35. 35. Scientific Calculator > Brackets For example: In 2008, 400 auction contracts were offered for £22,200 each. In 2009, contract value increased by 7%, and there was a 25% decrease in the number of offered contracts. Question: How much more money than Buildingo did Roads make? a. £ 192,543 b. £ 217,386 c. £ 321,654 d. £ 423,964 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk e. £ 213,786
  36. 36. Scientific Calculator > Brackets Answer: Long way: Collect the necessary information for this question: • Contract value in 2009: 1.07*22,200=23,754 • Number of contracts in 2009 after 25% decrease: 400*0.75=300 • Buildingo contracts in 2009: 0.09*300 • Roads LTD contracts in 2009: 0.12*300 • We need to subtract Buildingo from Roads, thus: [(23,754*300*0.12)-(23,754*300*0.09)] = 213,786. Shortcut way: Simply calculate the difference: 23,754*300*(0.12-0.09) = 213,786. Less calculator operations, more time for you! Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  37. 37. Scientific Calculator > Brackets Typing: 23,754*300*(0.12-0.09)= : 23754x300x(.12-.09) 213,786. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  38. 38. To improve your scores in the numerical tests, continue practicing the calculation functions in our Numerical Reasoning Packs >> Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  39. 39. Scientific Calculator > Indices • In this case a number is raised to the power of another number. • The simplest use of indices is to ‘square’ a number – this is done by pressing the number first followed by the ‘x2’ button. • The same concept applies to the button xx (NB. Sometimes this will be seen as an x with an empty box in the top right corner). For example: Dan earns £145 per day. Each day, his money is multiplied by 145. How much money does Dan has after 3 days? Use a scientific calculator. Answer: typing in ‘145’, followed by ‘xx’, then ‘3’ and then ‘=’ will yield the answer of £3,048,625. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  40. 40. Scientific Calculator > Indices Calculating 145³ - step #1: 1 0. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  41. 41. Scientific Calculator > Indices Calculating 145³ - step #2: 14 0. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  42. 42. Scientific Calculator > Indices Calculating 145³ - step #3: 145 0. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  43. 43. Scientific Calculator > Indices Calculating 145³ - step #4: 145 0. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  44. 44. Scientific Calculator > Indices Calculating 145³ - step #5: 145³ 0. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  45. 45. Scientific Calculator > Indices Calculating 145³ - step #6: 145³ 3,048,625. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  46. 46. Scientific Calculator > Calculator Mode • For numerical reasoning tests, it is crucial to make sure your calculator is in “DEG” (Degree) mode. Other alternative modes are “Rad” (Radians) or “Grad” (Grade), which are not useful for this type of test. • Setting the calculator in DEG will make sure to present ‘π’ as a decimal point in your answer, rather than leaving it as a symbol on your screen. • To set your calculator to DEG, press the “Set up” or “MODE” button (you may have two press it twice), and then the corresponding number on the screen, which indicates the DEG mode. • Once this is done, a small ‘D’ should appear on the upper part of your screen to confirm this. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  47. 47. Scientific Calculator > Calculator Mode Choosing ‘Deg’- step #1: Deg 1 Rad 2 Gra 3 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  48. 48. Scientific Calculator > Calculator Mode Choosing ‘Deg’- step #2: D 0. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  49. 49. Scientific Calculator > Standard/Decimal Answers • Sometimes, calculators will present answers in a standard form (that is, as a fraction), but your numerical reasoning test asks for answers as a decimal. • Once you’ve worked out your answer and it has been presented as a fraction, all you have to do is press the ‘S  D’ button, for converting fractions to decimals. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  50. 50. Scientific Calculator > Standard/Decimal Answers Converting ⅗ to 0.6 - step #1: 12/20 3 5. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  51. 51. Scientific Calculator > Standard/Decimal Answers Converting ⅗ to 0.6 - step #2: 12/20 0.6 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  52. 52. Scientific Calculator > “Ans” Button • Usually, in the bottom of the calculator’s buttons there is an “Ans” button. • Using this button will give the answer that was received in the previous calculation. • This button is very useful when you have to remember long numbers from one calculation to another (I.e., 2639.85). Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  53. 53. Scientific Calculator > “Ans” Button Using the “Ans” button - step #1: 1750x2.64 4,620. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  54. 54. Scientific Calculator > “Ans” Button Using the “Ans” button - step #2: 1 4,620. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  55. 55. Scientific Calculator > “Ans” Button Using the “Ans” button - step #3: 18 4,620. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  56. 56. Scientific Calculator > “Ans” Button Using the “Ans” button - step #4: 18x 4,620. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  57. 57. Scientific Calculator > “Ans” Button Using the “Ans” button - step #5: 18xAns 4,620. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  58. 58. Scientific Calculator > “Ans” Button Using the “Ans” button - step #6: 18xAns 83,160. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  59. 59. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function • The scientific calculator can also store numbers in its memory, but to a greater extent. • The buttons used on a scientific calculator are STO (store) and RCL (Recall), along with the buttons lettered A to F. • If you want to store a number in the calculator's memory, type it in, then press (SHIFT) STO, followed by one of the letters (e.g. A) – without pressing the ALPHA button. Then, to recall this number, press the RCL button, followed by ALPHA and then the letter you saved the number under. • Another useful tip to save time is to use the letters to form an equation, rather than numbers. For example, if you store 4 as A and 15 as B, then AxB would give you the same answer as typing out 4 x 15. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  60. 60. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function For example: Marcus has invested some money into shares. On the first day he invest £50 into StockCo and £35 into SharesRUs . Every week, his money from SharesRUs doubled. Unfortunately for him, his shares in StockCo lost a quarter of their value every week. At the end of the fifth week, Marcus’ total amount of invested money increased by 25%. Question: How much money did Marcus have by the end of the 5th week? Answer: We’ll answer this question by using Store/Recall Functions, in addition to the functions we have learned earlier: First, we will store the numbers appearing in the above example as letters: By pressing ’50’, then ‘SHIFT’+‘STO and then ‘A’, the number 50 will bee stored as “A”. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  61. 61. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function Then, by the same manner we will store 35 as “B”. Now all we have to do is type in the equation – using the above letters (in addition to the other functions we’ve learned): (B*25 + A*.755)X125% = £1,414.8 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  62. 62. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #1: 50 0. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  63. 63. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #2: 50 0. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  64. 64. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #3: 50A 50. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  65. 65. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #4: 3 50. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  66. 66. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #5: 35 50. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  67. 67. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #6: 35 50. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  68. 68. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #7: 35 50. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  69. 69. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #8: 35B 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  70. 70. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #9: ( 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  71. 71. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #10: ( 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  72. 72. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #11: (B 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  73. 73. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #12: (Bx 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  74. 74. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #13: (Bx2 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  75. 75. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #14: (Bx2 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  76. 76. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #15: (Bx2⁵ 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  77. 77. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #16: (Bx2⁵+ 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  78. 78. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #17: (Bx2⁵+ 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  79. 79. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #18: (Bx2⁵+A 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  80. 80. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #19: (Bx2⁵+Ax 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  81. 81. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #20: (Bx2⁵+Ax. 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  82. 82. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #21: (Bx2⁵+Ax.7 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  83. 83. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #22: (Bx2⁵+Ax.75 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  84. 84. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #23: (Bx2⁵+Ax.75 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  85. 85. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #24: (Bx2⁵+Ax.75⁵ 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  86. 86. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #25: (Bx2⁵+Ax.75⁵) 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  87. 87. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #26: (Bx2⁵+Ax.75⁵)x 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  88. 88. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #27: (Bx2⁵+Ax.75⁵)x1 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  89. 89. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #27: (Bx2⁵+Ax.75⁵)x12 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  90. 90. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #28: (Bx2⁵+Ax.75⁵)x125 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  91. 91. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #29: (Bx2⁵+Ax.75⁵)x125 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  92. 92. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #30: (Bx2⁵+Ax.75⁵)x125% 35. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  93. 93. Scientific Calculator > Store/Recall Function A demonstration of the previous question - step #31: (Bx2⁵+Ax.75⁵)x125% 1,414.831543 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  94. 94. Scientific Calculator > General Example Question: Final Energy Consumption Approximately, what is (In primary energy equivalents) Industry the percentage growth in final energy consumption for the domestic sector in Transport 16% 18% 30% 29% 31% 25% 213.6 Million tonnes of oil equivalent Services 2011 2001 million tonnes of oil equivalent? Domestic 25% 26% 237.7 Million tonnes of oil equivalent *Figures taken from the UK National Archives. a. 2 b. 2.08 c. 20.88 Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk d. 23.81 e. 18.96
  95. 95. Scientific Calculator > General Example There are two ways to answer this question: Long way: Without using any of the calculator’s tips, we would have found each amount of oil equivalent (used by the domestic sector in each year) separately. In 2001: 213.6*0.29 = 61.94 million tons. In 2011: 237.7*0.31 = 73.69 million tons. The percentage growth rate would be: (73.69/61.94)-1 = 0.18957. Multiply by 100 to get 18.96%. Short way: Using the calculator’s tips we have just learned, we can get to the same solution faster: Typing ‘213.6x0.29=’ in the calculator, will yield 61.944. Then we press ‘Shift’, “STO” and then “A”. Then, we type ‘237.7x0.31=‘, get 73.687, and press ‘÷’,‘ALPHA’ and ‘A’. Reducing ‘1’ and multiplying by 100 will yield: 18.96%. Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  96. 96. How to Use a Calculator? > Summary Remember: practice is crucial, and it’s always important to know where the buttons actually are on a standard calculator, so you’re not wasting time in the exam searching for a specific button! Keep checking the JobTestPrep>> website for more tips, tricks and shortcuts, where you can take free tests online Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk
  97. 97. Good Luck! Visit us at: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk >> http://www.facebook.com/jobtestprep >> Copyright: http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk

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