GCSEs play a significant role in students’ future education and career paths. As a core subject, GCSE maths revision is of great importance. Some GCSE maths questions need a calculator, and solving them with mental maths would be timeconsuming. A calculator allows students to focus on problemsolving and accurately and quickly perform complex calculations. This article provides a comprehensive guide on GCSE maths calculator revision, including:
 Check your school or exam board for calculator limitations
 Consider the functions you’ll need
 Know your calculator’s shortcuts
 Pay attention to the order of mathematical operations
 Doublecheck
 Do not rely too much on the calculator
 Practice all the required function modes during the revision
 Be mindful of input errors
 Always check your answers
The Importance of Calculator Use in GCSE Mathematics
GCSE Maths covers a wide range of topics, including trigonometry and statistics. Using a calculator in these exams is not just a convenience but a practical necessity. It allows students to focus on problemsolving and explore these concepts by handling functions. This pragmatic approach can also have a significant psychological impact, helping students approach the exam with a more relaxed and focused mindset. Since two of the exam papers of GCSE mathematics are calculator papers, practical calculator skills are essential for exam success.
What are the best websites for mathematics revision? GCSE Maths Revision Websites has practical answers to help GCSE students stay ahead of revision plans and achieve great results.
Essential Calculator Functions for GCSE Preparation
This table focuses on functions commonly used in GCSE Maths exams.
Essential Calculator Functions for GCSE Maths 

Function 
Description  Example in GCSE Maths Exam Question 
Basic Arithmetic (+, , *, /, %)  Perform calculations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and finding percentages. 
Finding the area of a rectangle (length x width Calculating the volume of a cuboid (length x width x height) Converting between units (e.g., centimeters to meters) using multiplication/division 
Fractions 
Enter and manipulate fractions. 
Adding or subtracting mixed numbers. Multiplying or dividing fractions. 
Squares (x²) and Cubes (x³) 
Square or cube a number.  Finding the area of a square (a²) or the volume of a cube (a³) 
Square Roots (√)  Find the square root of a number. 
Solving for the hypotenuse of a rightangled triangle using Pythagoras’ theorem (a² + b² = c²) 
Percentages (%) 
Calculate percentages, find parts of a whole, and express numbers as percentages.  Finding a percentage increase/decrease.
Calculating VAT on a price. Converting between decimals and percentages. 
Pi (π)  Use the constant pi (π) for calculations involving circles. 
Finding the circumference or area of a circle (c = 2πr or A = πr²) 
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Calculator in GCSE Maths
Besides mathematical skills, meticulousness is essential for GCSE maths calculator revision and exams. It is common for students to make errors or forget things while using calculators. Below is a list of these errors to be mindful of:

 Overreliance on the calculator: Practising mental maths and estimation helps develop a strong number sense.
 Misunderstanding function modes: Make sure to use the correct mode for the trigonometric functions (sin(30°), sin(π/6)).
 BODMAS and BIDMAS: In any mathematical example, division and multiplication must precede addition and subtraction. Also, brackets, parentheses, and orders of powers or roots must precede division and multiplication.
 Input errors: Typos or misplaced decimals can completely change the answer.
 Focusing on speed over Accuracy: Although time management is essential during GCSE exams, the ultimate goal is accuracy.
This YouTube video by Mr Mahmud offers Top 5 GCSE Maths Calculator hacks with exam questions example.
Practice Exercises and Resources for Improving Calculator Skills
On most exam boards, the second and third exam papers of GCSE mathematics are calculator questions. Practise past papers for effective GCSE maths calculator revision to improve your calculator skills. Maths Genie and BBC Bitesize are the best resources for maths revision; these websites offer GCSE maths past papers, mark schemes and lessons, and video tutorials. Also, exam boards ( AQA, Edexcel, OCR) offer past papers with calculator sections.
Keep in mind practice makes perfect. Integrate calculator practices into your regular maths revision plan. Here are sample GCSE maths practice questions that require calculator use:
 Mathematics Paper 2 Foundation Tier Questions AQA
 Mathematics Paper 2 Foundation Tier Mark Scheme AQA
 Mathematics Paper 2 Higher Tier Questions AQA
 Mathematics Paper 2 Higher Tier Mark Scheme AQA
 Mathematics Paper 2 Foundation Tier Questions Edexcel
 Mathematics Paper 2 Foundation Tier Mark Scheme Edexcel
 Mathematics Paper 2 Higher Tier Questions Edexcel
 Mathematics Paper 2 Higher Tier Mark Scheme Edexcel
Tips for Selecting and Using the Right Calculator for Exams
Choosing the right scientific calculator for GCSE mathematics is crucial for academic success. But what is the best calculator for GCSE maths? Here are helpful tips for selecting a calculator for GCSE maths exam and how to use your calculator effectively:

Check Your School or Exam Board
GCSE maths exams typically allow scientific calculators with some limitations. Some schools and exam boards have specific requirements regarding the type of calculator allowed. That said, a basic scientific calculator is the minimum you need for GCSE exams. However, a more advanced model, such as the Casio fx991EX, is more helpful for solving equations during GCSE maths exams.
 Improve your Calculator Skills for GCSE Maths with an Online Tutor
Online tutoring helps students build confidence and necessary skills for academic success. Ostado’s Online Tutors are dedicated to providing practical lesson plans and revision guides for students around the UK to achieve the best results. With the help of a GCSE maths tutor, students develop practical exam techniques and maths skills for higher grades at GCSE exams. All the lessons and practices are tailored to students’ learning styles and the exam board.

Consider the Functions You’ll Need
Based on past papers, the calculator functions needed for GCSE maths include basic arithmetic operations, percentages, powers and roots, fractions, Pi (π), brackets, and order of operations. Some exam boards also allow calculators to perform Trigonometry and Logarithms functions.

Check Battery Life
Check the type of batteries required and the estimated battery life. Ensure you have fresh batteries before the exam to avoid any lastminute stress.

Size and Portability
Choose a size that is comfortable for handling and portability. Strike a balance between compactness and keypad size to meet your preferences.

Brand Reputation
Consider calculators from reputable brands with a history of producing reliable devices. Read customer reviews and ratings for specific models to gauge performance and durability.

Know Calculator Shortcuts
Generally, calculators have shortcuts for common functions. Knowing these shortcuts can help you save time and energy during GCSE exams.

DoubleCheck
Doublecheck your entries before hitting equals. Also, be aware of what your calculator can’t do.
More Resources: Using an effective revision list for GCSE maths can gamechanging your preparation process as it streamlines your tasks and practices by scheduling and breaking down the syllabus. Read more on the Revision List for GCSE Maths
Using a scientific calculator allows students to focus on problemsolving and save more time during GCSE maths exams. Effective GCSE maths calculator revision will enable students to achieve academic success. When choosing a scientific calculator, it is important to check the exam board’s requirements and limitations.
FAQ revise for maths GCSE calculator
 What to revise for maths GCSE calculator higher?The topics of GCSE calculator maths include:
 Algebra
 Trigonometry
 Percentages
 Geometry
 Speed.
 Graphs
 Probability
 Histograms
 Standard form
 Circle theorems
 What calculators are banned in GCSE?For GCSE exams, every student must bring their own calculator; you can not borrow a calculator from other candidates. Also, calculators with internet connection, symbolic differentiation, language translators, or symbolic algebra manipulation are not allowed.
 Are you allowed a calculator in further maths GCSE?Yes, students can use Casio 991EX ClassWiz or the Texas Instruments TI30X Pro for further maths GCSE.