In the UCAT, a simple on-screen calculator is available to you in the Quantitative Reasoning and Decision Making sections of the test.
When used correctly, the calculator should speed up your process of working out answers. If used incorrectly, you could waste time by spending too long on a question.
There are two main ways to operate the UCAT calculator:
The calculator opens in a separate window to the test screen. This means that if you go back to the test screen after using the calculator, you will then need to click back on the calculator to continue using it.
It’s vital to practise using the UCAT calculator before test day, because it’s different from the type of normal calculator that you’re already familiar with. You will waste precious time if you aren’t sure how to use the UCAT calculator during your exam.
You can practise with the calculator on the UCAT website and also in our UCAT Question Bank.
You will be able to use the calculator much quicker if you are familiar with some time-saving keyboard shortcuts.
Here are some UCAT calculator shortcuts you should know:
Bear in mind that the UCAT calculator doesn’t have a square or power button. If a question comes up that requires this, you won’t be able to use the calculator and will need to use mental maths instead.
It’s a good idea to remind yourself of basic squares to avoid getting stuck on these questions.
The UCAT calculator has a memory function which you can use to retain a number and save time during complex calculations.
Click M+ (or type P) to save a number and click MRC (or type C) to recall this number. Click MRC twice (or type C twice) to clear the memory.
You don’t need to use the UCAT calculator for every maths question in the exam. In fact, using it for every calculation would waste time rather than save it!
If a calculation is simple enough, use mental maths to solve it. Remember that it’s a multiple choice test, so your mental maths doesn’t necessarily need to get you to the exact answer – just close enough so that you can select the right option.
Timing is crucial in the UCAT, and there is no point wasting valuable seconds on the calculator when you could easily use mental maths instead. Make sure you dedicate some time to brushing up on your mental maths skills during UCAT preparation.
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