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Basic Use Skills

Things to keep in mind when using your graphing calculator to solve number problems:

Do not confuse the subtraction key with the negation key.

When you look at the subtraction symbol on the
screen, it will appear to be slightly wider and lower
set than the negation symbol.


There are two basic ways to square a value.

The caret symbol (^) can be used to raise a value to any power.

Classic Mode:
Squaring can be accomplished by using the
"squared" key or by raising the value to the
power of 2 with the use of the 
^ (caret) symbol. 

MathPrint mode: the ^ (caret) will move you up to the exponent position. Type the 2. Now, you will REMAIN up in the exponent position until you hit the right arrow to return to the base line.

Simply hitting ENTER after the 2 will engage the squaring process, BUT... get in the habit of using the right arrow after entering exponents, as you will need this skill on future problems.



There may be a need for parentheses.

Classic Mode:
Be careful with parentheses.  Some functions, such as square root, automatically start a left parenthesis for you.  YOU must be sure to tell the calculator when to close the parenthesis.


Parentheses are also important when evaluating expressions.  Remember that in the order of operations, if there are no parentheses present, powers will be done BEFORE the assigning of negative status.

MathPrint Mode:
Numbers will stay UNDER the radical sign until you hit ENTER, or until you hit the right arrow to move out. Get in the habit of moving out from under the radical sign.
Same as the Classic Mode.


There are several ways to deal with the radical symbol.

The square root symbol is
above the "squared" key.

The cube root and higher roots are found
under the
MATH key (in both modes).

Classic Mode:
When finding a higher root, enter the root number first, then use MATH #5, then type the value.
MathPrint Mode:
When finding a higher root, enter the root number first. When you use MATH #5, the root will be transported to its correct position and the root symbol will appear. Remember, after entering the number under the root symbol, hit right arrow to move out from under the symbol.

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