Using a scientific calculator
Using a scientific calculator

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

12.1 Display indicators

These are symbols shown on the calculator display to indicate its current state of operation.

Symbol on display Meaning

The key has been pressed.

The key has been pressed.


A value is stored in the ‘M’ memory.


The STORE key ((STO)) has been pressed.


The RECALL () key has been pressed.

The calculator is set to measure angles in degrees.

The calculator is set to measure angles in radians.

The calculator is set to measure angles in gradians.


The calculator is set to display answers to a fixed number of decimal places.


The calculator is set to display answers in scientific notation with a fixed number of significant figures.


The calculator is set to use Math mode for input and display.


The calculator is in statistics mode.

There is more information available than can be displayed, and this can be accessed using the up/down cursor keys.

The line displayed is longer than can fit on the display. Other parts of the line can be displayed by scrolling using the left/right cursor keys: and .

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371