GRE Exam Calculator

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Hello Everyone,

I got a query from one of the Student to provide details with respect to the On-Screen Calculator that is provided during the GRE Exams. So this post will focus on the On-Screen Calculator, it’s important functions and whether is it necessary to use the calculator during the Examinations. Students might be knowing that the Calculator was provided in the New GRE Exam Pattern only. So let’s discuss about the Calculator in detail in this post.

GRE On-Screen Calculator:

Click on the Calculator to use it.


This is the calculator that will be provided to the students during the Examination. The calculator will look exactly the same in your GRE Exam as well. Now let’s look into some of the important functionalities of this calculator.

1) Transfer Display: –

At the bottom of the calculator, you can see a button called ‘Transfer Display’. This button can be used during the Numeric Entry questions in your Quant Section. Since you need to enter the Answer, if you have calculated the Answer in the calculator then by clicking Transfer Display, it transfers the Answer from Calculator to that Answer space available for that question. Don’t use this feature unless you are certain. For example, if a question requires you to round your answer or convert your answer to a percent, make sure that you adjust the transferred number accordingly.

2) Memory: –

I suppose many students might be knowing this feature that is available in all the calculators: MR and MC. They recall and clear, respectively, the value stored in memory. The Calculator doesn’t have the MS or Memory Store Button. Now to store the value in the Memory for the first time, press M+. The tricky thing about this button is that it doesn’t override what’s currently in memory: it adds to the value.

Take an Example:  6 M+ 3 M+ MR. The value that will be stored is not 3 but 9. If you want to save a completely new and unrelated value, then first you need to clear the memory by pressing MC. Mostly, Memory options are generally not used by the students.

3) Limit: – 

The Limit to the Number of digits in the calculator is 8. So if you try to exceed that then either it won’t take or if your result after calculation exceeds 8 digits then you will see an message ‘ERROR’.

4) Parentheses: – 

GRE calculator does have parentheses, however, they are coupled, meaning opened bracket should be closed before you could use it again. So, you can’t nest parentheses such as 9×(8–(7+1)), you need to calculate first (7+1) separately and only then go ahead and use the parentheses.

5) Plus and Minus Sign: –

On the left hand side bottom, you can see a plus and a minus sign below plus sign. It’s simply used to change the sign for the digits.

Personal Suggestion: Use Keyboard Rather than a Mouse

The way that I used calculator effectively in my GRE Exam is to perform calculations in the calculator using keyboard rather than a mouse. When you use the mouse to perform calculations, you need to click on each and every digit and operations that you want to carry like +, -. %, /, *. Use the keyboard for entering values and performing the operations, it will really be faster than using a mouse.

To Conclude:

My personal suggestion with respect to using calculator in the GRE Exam is that if you are good in calculations then no need to use it. Always try to approximate as it will save your time. But that doesn’t mean don’t use the calculator at all. Calculator can really be useful for difficult calculations.

I hope this post was useful.

2 thoughts on “GRE Exam Calculator

  1. Hello,
    I’m in a big dilemma. I started my B.E. in 2006, I did not do well in the 1st year because of homesickness and got backlog in all the 6 subjects (I was a good student in school), because of all that I got in to serious depression and had to drop BE. I didn’t feel like doing anything, this continued for 3 years. But after those 3 long years I decided to rejoin the same university again, but this time another college, which was in my home town. Soon I cleared all my backlogs and completed my engineering this year.
    My year-wise percentage were, 1st-54%, 2nd-58%, 3rd-61%, 4th-67%. School percentages were 10th-76%, 12th-64%.
    Have secured 106/120 in TOEFL. And have already started preparations for GRE and hope to score high.
    My question are, how can I explain the 3 year gap in my BE? Will I able to get into universities like Florida State, Wisconsin-Madison, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Michigan State, etc because of my abysmal acads?
    Should I get around an year of work-experience in some MNC before going for MS? Will that help?
    Thanks.

    • Let’s go step by step…

      Firstly with respect to your percentage, it’s on the rise every year which is very good. If your percentage increases every year then your chances of getting into the Univ is very high.

      Secondly, your TOEFL Scores are excellent and I am sure that you will get a good GRE Score.

      Thirdly, with respect to your 3 year GAP, you need to mention what you did during those three years and you need to explain what you just shared with me, which is why did you get a GAP. So if you can put it precisely then I am sure that Univ. will admit you.

      So do not worry and concentrate towards GRE, SOP and LOR. Put all your efforts and hope for the best.

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