A key preparation step for the CRE exam is to have and know how to use a simple calculator. I use my smartphone and a calculator app – and I would not be permitted to use the phone during the exam. Same with tablets, computers, and other common tools that we now take for granted.
We allow any silent, hand-held, battery-operated calculator WITHOUT an alphabetic keyboard.
Which is a quote from an ASQ FAQ on exam permissible calculators, see the whole response here.
Showing up ready for the test and having your calculator denied may set you back (time-wise) from having to do the calculations by hand. If taking the exam in the computer-based testing center, they provide a scientific calculator on-screen or a handheld one upon request.
Next is being able to use the calculator. During the CRE exam, the woman next to me was very frustrated and eventually put her calculator away. After the exam, I asked her about the calculator and if the battery died (another preparation step is to install fresh batteries!). She said her husband gave her his calculator as it would be permissible for use during the exam. It was a simple scientific calculator and used reverse Polish notation for calculations. She was not familiar with that input format and rather than spending time learning how to use the calculator proceeded to answer all the questions without the need for calculations. I’m not sure how she did on the exam.
For the CRE the calculator matters – you will need it and need to know how to use it.
Actually, I need a scientific calculator for my child. She is a 14 year’s old. I have no idea on scientific calculator. Do you have any recommend scientific calculator? Thanks
Fred Schenkelberg says
Hi Steven, sorry I don’t have a recommendation – as most school calculators are too fancy for those preparing for the CRE exam. Ask her teachers. cheers, Fred
Rolando Jr. says
Doing mathematical solution manually is good thing because the knowledge will be kept refreshing but sometimes when you are doubtful with your answer, it will be good if you can have some reference or guidance to make sure your solution is correct. So calculator would be handy in this case. Plus, if you are on doing it on a very short time, calculator would really help you save time.