Know How to Use the GED On-Screen Calculator

By Murray Shukyn, Dale E. Shuttleworth, Achim K. Krull

The timing of the GED test is rigid. The official test is timed to the minute, and the time is tight. You have less than three minutes per item, so working quickly and efficiently is essential. Luckily, the Mathematical Reasoning test (all but the first five questions, that is) and some questions on the Science and Social Studies tests provide an on-screen calculator to help you make calculations quickly and easily. A special icon appears in the top-left corner of the computer screen when using the calculator is allowed. If you need it, simply click on the icon for the calculator to appear.

The calculator on the GED test is the TI-30XS model and may be different from ones you’ve used in the past, so play around with the calculator before you try to use it on test day. You can read more about this calculator at the GED Testing Service and see it in action on YouTube.

You can’t bring your own calculator to the test. And using a different calculator for practice will just slow you down on the test. You won’t be given extra time on the test to get familiar with the on-screen TI-30XS calculator, so it’s important that you get used to it before you take the test. If you can, buy a hand-held one to practice with. They cost about $30.00.

Don’t worry. If you forget how to use a particular calculator feature or function on test day, you can access a calculator reference sheet during the test. Just click the Calculator Reference button at the top-right corner of the computer screen for reminders on how to use the calculator. Become familiar with the calculator for the GED test: Preview the calculator reference sheets or get a detailed look at individual functions.