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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

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### 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
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