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Using a Scientific Calculator for Fractions

I borrowed a scientific calculator from a friend and have been using it for all of my fractions since. It's so much easier to include fractional amounts on my paper now!

You can't convert a decimal to a fraction on the calculator, but the calculator can help you do it with a pencil and paper. Suppose you want to express 0.7143 as a fraction. You could write it as 7143/10,000, but maybe you want to reduce this to something a lot more simple, such as a denominator that's a single digit. To do this, enter the original number as decimal, and then multiply by the desired denominator. This gives you the numerator of the fraction. For example, if you want a fraction with 7 in the denominator, multiply 0.7143 by 7. The calculator will display the numerator, which in this case is 5.0001, which is close enough to 5 to be equal. You can then write the fraction 5/7 on a piece of paper.

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When describing how to use various calculator functions, this guide gives the exact keys that you need to press using the symbols shown on the keys. This is known as a ‘key sequence’. If the key sequence accesses the second function of a key, or a function from a menu, the name of this function will be given in brackets at the appropriate point in the key sequence. Names in brackets are thus not keys that you press but simply describe the function that is accessed using the previous key sequence. For example, to turn off the calculator, press .

button in the left-hand column of the function key area of the calculator keypad. This displays a fraction ‘template’ on the display – as shown in Figure 8 below – that contains boxes that need to be ‘filled in’. When the button is first pressed, the cursor is located in the top box ready for you to enter the numerator. To move to the bottom box to enter the denominator, use the cursor down key (Source: www.open.edu)