Can You Use A Calculator On The GRE | All Question Answered

Preparing for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) can be a daunting task. As you gear up for the exam, you may be wondering if you are allowed to use a calculator to crunch those complex mathematical calculations and save precious time.

Understanding the fact that there is a quantitative section in the gre test, people usually ask can you use a calculator on the GRE? The answer is yes but there is a twist to it.

A calculator goes a long way in solving quantitative problems in the GRE. In this article, we shall discuss everything concerning using a calculator on the GRE.

In this guide, we will address the question on everyone’s mind: Can You Use A Calculator On The GRE? We will delve into the details, explore the rules and restrictions, highlight the benefits of using a calculator, and provide you with essential tips for test day success.

So, let’s dive in and uncover the truth about calculator usage on the GRE Exam!

Can You Use A Calculator On The GRE?

Many students wonder about the official policy regarding calculator usage on the GRE.

Here’s what you need to know: you cannot bring a calculator with you to the GRE, which is bad news.

The on-screen calculator provided for your usage is the only calculator permitted on the GRE. In other words, you can use their calculator if you need to, but you are not allowed to bring your own.

However, don’t let this discourage you! With sufficient preparation and strategic techniques, you can excel in this section, even without a calculator.

You will need to rely on your mathematical knowledge, analytical thinking, and estimation skills to solve these types of questions effectively.

Using a Calculator on the GRE

You may have heard that calculators are permitted on the GRE if you study for the exam. This is fantastic news if you struggle with math or complicated calculations. Still, it’s critical to understand how to use a calculator properly to make the most of this instrument.

To start, not all types of calculators are permitted on the GRE. Calculators that cannot store formulas or equations or are non-programmable are the only ones allowed.

Additionally, paper tape and calculators with a QWERTY keyboard are forbidden. The calculator must be silent, which means it cannot make any sound or have an audio feature.

It’s critical to comprehend how you can use a calculator during the test now that you know the permitted calculator types. The testing facility will give you a calculator, which you can use for both the exam’s Quantitative Reasoning and Math sections. You cannot utilize it in the Verbal Reasoning or Analytical Writing areas of the exam.

You can check out: How Long Is The GRE Test? GRE Exam Tips

Understand Instructions Before Using a Calculator

Make sure to thoroughly read the accompanying instructions before using the calculator. It’s possible that the calculator won’t operate the same way as the one you often use. Before the test, you should practice utilizing the various functionalities and become familiar with them.

It would be best not to rely only on the calculator, which is a crucial piece of advice to have in mind. While it can undoubtedly simplify complicated computations, it’s crucial to grasp fundamental mathematical concepts fully. You verify the output of the calculator and spot any potential problems; make sure you also practice mental math.

Locate example questions and practice tests online or in GRE preparation books to gain experience utilizing the calculator on the GRE. You will be able to use the calculator more effectively and grow more easily with it.

Additionally, it’s critical to understand when it is not advisable to use the GRE calculator. Using mental math or segmenting an issue into smaller portions can sometimes make it faster and simpler to solve a problem. Before using the calculator, ensure you properly understand the question and weigh all your options.

Don’t fail to also read through GRE Big Book Review by ETS | Overview, Pros, Cons

Utilizing a Calculator to Solve Challenging Arithmetic Problems

Utilizing a calculator to solve challenging arithmetic problems on the GRE can be helpful.

However, it’s crucial to be aware of the guidelines and restrictions, to become accustomed to using the calculator beforehand, and to consistently check your work. You’ll be able to get the most out of this valuable study aid during the exam if you keep these suggestions in mind.

You can also read: GRE vs SAT: Top 15 Key Differences

What Types of Calculators Are Allowed on the GRE?

Can You Use A Calculator On The Gre | All Question Answered
Can You Use A Calculator On The Gre

Before taking the GRE, it is important to know which types of calculators are allowed during the exam. According to the official GRE website, only non-graphing calculators are permitted. Specifically, the following models are allowed:

  • Casio fx-260
  •  Hewlett-Packard HP 9S
  •  Texas Instruments TI-30X

It is important to note that you cannot bring your calculator, and these models will be provided to you at the testing center.

Although these calculators may seem basic compared to the ones you use in your everyday life, they are sufficient for the math problems you will encounter in the GRE. The key is to be familiar with their functionality.

Now that you know which calculators are allowed on the GRE, let’s dive into how to use them during the exam.

You can also read: GRE To LSAT Conversion Matrix | How It Works in 2023

How to Use a Calculator During the GRE Test

Instances When the Use of a Calculator Can Slow Down Work
Can You Use A Calculator On The Gre

It’s crucial to use a calculator carefully when taking the GRE in order to get the most out of this useful instrument. Let’s go through some pointers and directives to assist you get the most out of the calculator and improve your exam performance.

Steps on How to Use a Calculator During the GRE Test

Start by becoming familiar with the specific calculator that will be used for the GRE. Spend some time using it in advance so that you are comfortable using its buttons and functionalities.

You’ll be able to complete calculations during the test more quickly if you comprehend the calculator’s features and layout.

Next, throughout the exam, resist the urge to perform all calculations using the calculator. Even while it can be useful for complex procedures, there are times when estimating or mental math might save you time and effort.

Develop the ability to recognize situations in which it is more practical to estimate or complete calculations mentally, especially when dealing with straightforward arithmetic. This will enable you to keep up a steady pace without constantly turning to the calculator.

Check and Confirm Your Inputs

Checking your calculator inputs and calculations twice is another essential step. Despite the calculator’s accuracy design, mistakes made by humans can still happen while entering numbers or carrying out operations.

Review your entries one more to be sure you typed them accurately. Similarly to this, double-check your calculations’ results to make sure they match your expectations.

Finally, try using the calculator under test-like circumstances. Include it in your study regimen and use the calculator at your side to answer GRE practice problems.

Not only will this increase your familiarity with its features, but it will also give you more confidence in your ability to use it well during the exam itself. Always keep in mind that a calculator is a tool meant to help you, but it’s crucial to balance calculator use with mental math abilities.

During the GRE exam, you can enhance your problem-solving skills, save time, and reduce errors by creating a strategic approach to using the calculator.

Continue to practice, maintain your composure, and have faith in your ability to use the calculator sensibly. You’ll be fully prepared to ace the GRE and get the outcomes you’re looking for if you strike the appropriate mix between talents and preparation. Good fortune!

Need to reschedule your GRE? Find out how to in this article- Need to Reschedule Your GRE? Here’s What You Should Do

What is the Calculator’s Function in the Quantitative Sections?

The calculator is an essential tool for the GRE’s quantitative parts and can help you solve challenging mathematical issues. Its main purpose is to carry out calculations quickly and precisely so you can concentrate more on comprehending and resolving the issue at hand rather than becoming bogged down in tedious manual calculations.

You can use the calculator to carry out a variety of operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, as well as more complicated ones like square roots, logarithms, and exponentials.

You can take on challenging arithmetic assignments that call for intricate calculations thanks to your adaptability, which also saves you time and effort.

Additionally, the calculator has an easy-to-use interface with features and buttons that facilitate entering and manipulating numbers. Long handwritten calculations are no longer necessary, which lowers the chance of error and increases efficiency.

You can complete problems more rapidly within the time limits of the exam since you can enter numbers quickly, edit them as necessary, and get results right away.

Although the calculator is a useful tool, it is not meant to take the place of your understanding of mathematical ideas. It should be utilized in conjunction with your ability to solve problems and understand basic mathematical concepts.

The calculator’s purpose is to improve your capacity for quick and accurate calculations, which will ultimately help you approach quantitative challenges with confidence.

As such, think of the calculator as your ally during the GRE’s quantitative portions, ready to help you navigate through challenging computations and improve your problem-solving skills. Use its features intelligently and in conjunction with your mathematical understanding to successfully answer the exam’s questions.

Will the Lack of Calculator Skills affect GRE performance?

The lack of calculator skills can potentially affect your performance in the GRE. The GRE assesses quantitative reasoning abilities, and while a calculator is allowed, it is important to have proficiency in using it effectively.

A lack of calculator skills can lead to challenges such as slower calculations, increased chances of errors, and limitations in problem-solving approaches. This can impact your performance in the quantitative reasoning section and may result in lower scores.

Therefore, it is advisable to practice and develop calculator skills to optimize your performance on the GRE.

Benefits of Using a Calculator in the GRE

When it comes to the GRE, using a calculator can offer you a range of benefits that can significantly enhance your performance on the exam. Let’s take a closer look at why utilizing a calculator can be advantageous and how it can make a positive impact on your GRE experience.

First and foremost, a calculator provides you with a reliable and efficient tool for solving complex calculations. During the exam, time is of the essence, and the pressure can be intense.

With a calculator by your side, you can tackle intricate mathematical problems with ease, minimizing errors and saving valuable time in the process. It acts as a valuable aid, enabling you to focus more on understanding and solving the problem at hand, rather than getting caught up in manual calculations.

Moreover, using a calculator ensures accuracy and consistency in your calculations. It eliminates the risk of human errors that can occur when performing basic arithmetic operations manually.

Whether it’s addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division, the calculator provides a precise and reliable means of obtaining accurate results. This accuracy is crucial in obtaining the correct answers and maximizing your score on the exam.

Additionally, the calculator in the GRE offers advanced functions and features that can simplify complex mathematical tasks. It empowers you to perform operations like logarithms, exponentials, and square roots with ease and speed. These advanced capabilities can be especially helpful when faced with challenging quantitative questions that require complex calculations. 

Leveraging the Calculator’s Functions

By leveraging the calculator’s functions effectively, you can navigate through these questions efficiently and effectively, thereby increasing your chances of success.

Using a calculator in the GRE can be highly beneficial. It provides a reliable tool for solving complex calculations, ensures accuracy, and offers advanced functions for tackling challenging problems. 

By utilizing the calculator effectively, you can avoid wasting valuable time. A calculator can help to simplify complex mathematical problems by performing intricate calculations quickly and accurately.

Complex problems often involve large numbers, long decimals, or complex equations that are time-consuming and prone to errors when solved manually.

With a calculator, you can input these complex values or equations and let the calculator handle the calculations, saving you time and reducing the chances of making mistakes.

A calculator easily handles complex mathematical operations that are tedious and time-consuming to perform manually. By relying on a calculator, you can focus on understanding the problem and formulating the necessary steps while the calculator takes care of the intricate calculations involved.

When Not to Use the Calculator on the GRE

While the calculator can be a helpful tool during the GRE, there are instances where it’s best to avoid using it. Here are some scenarios when it’s recommended to refrain from using the calculator:

  1. Simple calculations: The GRE often includes questions that involve basic arithmetic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. If the numbers involved are small and the calculations can be done mentally or with simple hand calculations, solving them is generally faster without relying on the calculator. In such cases, using the calculator may slow you down.
  2. Estimation and approximation: The GRE sometimes presents questions where an approximate answer is sufficient. Using the calculator to obtain an exact value may not be necessary in these situations. Instead, you can employ estimation techniques to quickly arrive at a reasonable approximation. Estimation can save time and help eliminate answer choices far from the approximate value.
  3. Time management: The calculator can be a valuable tool, but it’s important to use it judiciously to manage your time effectively. Suppose a question seems time-consuming to solve with the calculator. In that case, it may be more efficient to skip it temporarily and return to it later, ensuring that you can allocate sufficient time to other questions you can solve more quickly.
  4. Error-prone calculations: While the calculator helps minimize errors, it’s important to recognize that excessive reliance can also introduce mistakes. If a calculation seems straightforward and manageable without the calculator, it may be better to solve it manually, reducing the chance of input errors or misinterpretation of calculator functions.

Instances When the Use of a Calculator Can Slow Down Work

Using a calculator can potentially slow down your work in certain situations:

  1. Simple calculations: When the numbers involved are small, and the arithmetic operations are straightforward, solving them mentally or with quick-hand calculations can be faster than relying on the calculator.
  2. Standard calculations: If you are proficient in calculations without a calculator, using it unnecessarily can slow your problem-solving process.
  3. Input errors: Depending on the calculator’s interface or the complexity of the calculation. Entering numbers or functions into the calculator may require additional time and can be prone to errors. Fixing input mistakes can further delay your progress.
  4. Calculation complexity: The calculation steps required may be more time-consuming when using a calculator than alternative problem-solving strategies. Certain mathematical techniques or formulas may provide a more efficient approach to solving the problem. Even without relying heavily on the calculator.
  5. Time management: Spending too much time on calculator-based calculations can interrupt your time for other questions. In such cases, skipping the calculator for certain calculations and prioritizing time management might be more effective.

How to Decide When to Use the Calculator

Deciding when to use the calculator during the GRE can greatly impact your problem-solving efficiency. Here are some factors to consider when making that decision:

Firstly, assess the complexity of the calculation. If the problem involves basic arithmetic operations with small numbers or can be easily solved mentally or through quick hand calculations, it may be faster to forego the calculator altogether. Utilize your mental math skills and rely on estimation techniques to arrive at approximate answers quickly.

Secondly, consider the time management aspect. The GRE is a timed exam, and each question carries equal weight. Suppose a calculation seems time-consuming or you’re struggling to input values accurately into the calculator. In that case, skipping it temporarily and returning to it later if time permits may be more advantageous. Prioritize questions where the calculator can provide a significant advantage, or manual calculations are more time-consuming.

Ultimately, the decision to use the calculator depends on your familiarity with the calculations. The complexity of the problem, and the time available. Striking a balance between using the calculator efficiently and employing other problem-solving strategies can help you maximize your performance on the exam. Regular practice and familiarity with different question types will enhance your judgment on the calculator use. It determines when the calculator can be a valuable tool and when relying on other approaches may be more advantageous.

Practical Tips for Enhancing Problem-solving Abilities Without the Calculator for the GRE

There are practical tips that can help you excel and not retake the GRE test. Let’s discuss some strategies that can enhance your skills:

Focus on sharpening your mental math skills. Practice performing calculations in your head, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Work on techniques like breaking down numbers, estimating, and recognizing number patterns. By honing your mental math abilities, you’ll be able to solve simpler problems swiftly and accurately without needing a calculator.

Familiarize yourself with effective problem-solving strategies tailored to the GRE. Understand the different question formats and learn approaches that can help you tackle each type effectively. Practice techniques such as identifying key information, eliminating answer choices, and applying logical reasoning to efficiently arrive at the correct solutions.

Allocate time to solving practice problems without using the calculator. Challenge yourself to manually solve GRE-style questions, focusing on accuracy and speed. This practice will improve your overall math skills, allow you to identify shortcuts or patterns. It boosts your confidence when confronting calculator-free questions during the exam.

Consciously try to learn and memorize essential formulas and concepts. Some GRE questions require specific knowledge of formulas or principles. By familiarizing yourself with these key elements, you can solve problems more efficiently and effectively.

Take the time to analyze your mistakes. Review and reflect on the errors you encounter while solving practice problems. Identify any patterns or weaknesses in your problem-solving approach. By understanding your areas of improvement, you can focus on those specific areas during your study sessions. You can also work towards enhancing your overall problem-solving abilities.

How to Get GRE Ready Without Relying on a Calculator

Preparing for the GRE without relying heavily on the calculator is an important aspect of preparing for the exam. Let’s explore some strategies to help you become GRE-ready without overly depending on the calculator:

  • Focus on developing your mental math skills. Practice performing calculations in your head, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Strengthen your ability to estimate and work with numbers quickly. By honing your mental math abilities, you’ll be able to solve simpler problems efficiently. Also, do a lot in math without relying on the calculator for basic arithmetic.
  • Familiarize yourself with the question formats and problems commonly appearing on the GRE. Understand the underlying concepts and strategies needed to solve these problems. Focus on enhancing your problem-solving skills by practicing without the calculator. Work on identifying key information, recognizing patterns, and applying logical reasoning to arrive at the correct answers.
  • Allocate time to practice solving GRE-style questions without a calculator. Challenge yourself to solve problems manually, paying attention to accuracy and speed. This practice will help you better understand mathematical concepts, and strengthen your problem-solving abilities. It also builds confidence in tackling calculator-free questions during the exam.
  • Use resources such as study guides, practice exams, and online tutorials to enhance your mathematical knowledge. Review and understand important formulas, rules, and concepts commonly tested on the GRE. Having a solid grasp of these fundamentals, you can confidently solve problems without relying heavily on the calculator.
  • Continuously analyze your performance and learn from your mistakes. Review the problems you encounter during practice sessions and identify areas where you need improvement. By recognizing your weaknesses, you can focus on strengthening those areas to become better equipped for the exam.

The Importance of the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and Why it is Necessary for Postgraduate Education

Regarding the GRE and postgraduate education, the calculator plays a crucial role in assessing your quantitative abilities and preparing you for the demands of advanced studies. Including a calculator in the GRE recognizes that professionals often rely on computational tools to solve complex problems efficiently and accurately in real-world scenarios and postgraduate fields. 

By allowing a calculator, the GRE acknowledges the practical necessity of these tools and aims to evaluate your ability to apply quantitative concepts effectively with the aid of technology.

The test acknowledges the importance of conceptual understanding and computational proficiency in future academic pursuits by allowing you to use a calculator in the GRE. 

It ensures that you are ready for the quantitative requirements of postgraduate education and the working world by acting as a link between the theoretical knowledge you learn and its practical application.

Therefore, embrace the calculator as a tool to improve your ability to reason quantitatively because it will be essential to your success in the GRE and other future academic activities.


Understanding the GRE and its calculator rules is crucial for success. Whether you prefer using a calculator or not, the key is to prepare about its advantages and limitations. Remember, the GRE is not just about the calculator; it assesses your problem-solving skills.

So, focus on honing your mental math abilities and mastering effective problem-solving strategies. Trust in your preparation and approach the exam confidently, knowing you have the tools and knowledge to excel, whether you rely on a calculator or not.

With the right mindset and readiness, you can achieve your desired results in the GRE. Best of luck!


Does the GRE punish you if you use a calculator?

When preparing for the GRE, one of the first concerns students ask is whether they should bring a calculator because math makes up a significant portion of the test. You can use a calculator while taking the GRE, which is fantastic news. You can now breathe a sigh of relaxation.

Can you use a calculator on the GRE at home?

The testing facility will provide the calculator that you will use. You will be provided a common calculator to use if you choose to take the exam on paper. Use the on-screen calculator for the test that is computer-based.

Which calculator is required for the GRE?

Don’t bring your own calculator to the test because you can’t use it. The paper-based is a basic four-function calculator with a square root button and memory features, the paper-based GRE calculator is fairly similar to the computerized one.


  • – GRE® Guidelines to Using the On-screen Calculator
  • – GRE Calculator: 4 Top Tips for How to Use It
  • – Calculators and the GRE


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