If math wasn’t a favorite subject of your adult learners before, using a virtual calculator could make the math section of the new GED exam more challenging. GED Testing Service says that the on-screen calculator is the Texas Instruments TI-30XS and is identical to its physical counterpart. However, students are prohibited from using handheld calculators. Programs interested in purchasing the virtual and/or handheld calculator can provide these to students so that they can familiarize themselves with the virtual calculator used on the GED test.
The virtual calculator won’t always be present during the math section. It will only appear during the calculator-permitted part of the math test, similarly to the 2003 test. Both the calculator-prohibited and calculator-permitted sections are part of a single Mathematical Reasoning module with total testing time of 90 minutes. Exactly five items of each form of the module are calculator-prohibited, so the majority of it requires knowledge of the virtual-calculator used to solve the math problems to demonstrate fluency in mathematical calculations. It’s important to note that the calculator will be provided on certain sections of the Science and Social Studies tests when it would be useful.
With that in mind, adult learners must master both the Mathematical Reasoning module and the application of the calculator. Whether the calculator is virtual or handheld, the key is sufficient practice. Below are several online resources for practice with the TI-30XS calculator to share with your programs and adult learners. There is also a practice test to use with your students after they’ve had some practice with the calculator.