Tips & Guidelines on Using Calculators in the National Exam

By John, published on Dec 10, 2020
3 years, 2 months ago | 3 min read

Tips & Guidelines on Using Calculators in the National Examinations

Scientific calculators were first introduced to Singapore’s curriculum in the early 1980s. Then, secondary-level candidates partaking in the mathematical ‘O’ levels national examinations could bring along their personal device as an examination aid. It was not until 2008 when the Ministry of Education (MOE) introduce the use of calculators to Primary 5 pupils, followed by Primary 6 pupils in 2009. This was done so as part of the MOE’s efforts to facilitate the use of more exploratory approaches in learning mathematical concepts.

With the introduction of calculators, students are able to better focus on concepts instead of having to worry about computational accuracy when performing repeated computations or computations with large numbers or decimals. Apart from that, the adoption aims to drive greater connection between mathematics and real-world numbers.

With that said, it is important to note that not all calculators meet the cut. At the same time, students are required to adhere to a specific set of guidelines when using calculators in the National Examinations. What exactly are these guidelines? In this article, we’ll be delving into them.

Silent Mode: On

In order to steer clear of disruptions, all calculators used during the National Examinations must be silent in operation, with a visual display only.

Ensuring that your calculator is in good working condition

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that his/her calculator is in good working condition prior to stepping into the examination hall. This also takes into account the power supply. In the circumstance where candidates face a calculator malfunction, there will be no special consideration granted.

No sharing

During the examination, students are not permitted to share calculators at all times.

Your calculators should not have an external storage function

Calculators that are equipped with an external storage function is not allowed. External storage function refers to external electro-mechanical data devices (such as plug-in modules, tapes and cards) with the ability to input and store data.

Calculators with wireless communication capabilities are not allowed

Your calculator should not be equipped with wireless communication capabilities such as infra-red.

Your calculator should not reflect any mathematical formula

It’s common to find calculators with enclosed sheets that contain mathematical formulas, conversion tables or instruction. However, these leaflets are strictly prohibited from the examination hall. In the circumstance where such information is non-detachable, candidates are required to keep them securely covered.

Invigilators should be able to verify your calculators’ makes and models.

Before stepping into the examination hall, ensure that the original model number and brand of your calculator is visible for verification purposes.

Hit reset

All text and formulae stored in the calculator’s memory must be emptied.

List of Approved Scientific Calculators

Scientific calculators are suitable for candidates sitting for PSLE Mathematics and Foundation Mathematics Examination, as well as candidates sitting for GCE N(T), N(A), O and A-Level Examinations.

Brand Model Approved Period
CASIO FX 82MS 2003-2021
FX 85MS 2003-2021
FX 95MS 2003-2021
FX 96SG Plus 2013-2021
FX 97SG X 2018-2022
FX 350MS 2003-2021
CANNON F-960SG 2017-2021
SHARP EL W531S 2010-2023
EL W531S II 2018-2022
EL W531XM 2014-2023
EL 533X 2013-2024

Preparing for your national examination?

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