7th July 2022
The UCAT Calculator is important when it comes to answering certain UCAT questions – but what’s the best way to use it? Find out with these tips!

The UCAT calculator is designed to help you with calculations 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.

How To Use The UCAT Calculator

The UCAT calculator can be operated in up to three different ways:

  • Mouse: UCAT test centres offer a computer mouse which can be used to operate the calculator. You can easily practise this from home, which makes it a good option. However, the mouse is usually slower to operate than using the keyboard.
  • Keyboard: UCAT test centres offer keyboards which can be used to operate the calculator. But it will be the type of full-size keyboard that you might find somewhere like your school library. To practise this method, you’ll need to use a full-size keyboard and not your laptop keyboard.
  • Touch screen. This isn’t available at all exam venues, and you’ll only be able to practise if you have a touch screen laptop. It may not be as reliable as using the mouse or the keyboard.

Make sure you use a UCAT Question Bank when you’re preparing for the UCAT, so you can become familiar with the calculator.

Practise These Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ctrl + c = to access the calculator
  • +, -, *, / = add, subtract, multiply, divide
  • Alt + n = to move to the next question
  • Alt + p = to move to the previous question
  • Alt + f = to flag the current question
  • Num Lock = to activate number keypad

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Tips For Using The UCAT Calculator

  • Don’t rely on the calculator for every maths question!
  • If the calculation is simple, use mental maths to solve it.
  • If you use the calculator for every maths question in the exam, you will waste time rather than save it.
  • The M+ function will save you time! Use the memory function on the calculator during complex calculations. The M+ button saves the positive version of the current number to memory, while the M- button saves the negative version.
  • MRC has two functions – memory recall if pressed alone, or memory clear if pressed with M-.
  • Don’t be afraid to redo calculations. Be cautious of errors when inputting numbers into the calculator. Trust your gut if the numbers don’t seem to add up!
  • If your answer seems implausible, then repeat the calculation. This might add another few seconds to a question, but it will be worth it if the answer earns you a mark.

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