by mo/am coach Alice
A friendly calculator may make a difference in passing or topping the LET. Choose wisely.
Since it’s 9 sleeps to go before LET day, you should have already practiced using the calculator you plan to bring to your testing site on LET (licensure examinations for teachers) day. If you haven’t decided on a calculator yet, here are some tips on how to choose your calculator. based on the list of allowable calculators for the LET.
1. Check the PRC list below for calculators that are allowed for the LET. Make sure that the calculator you have or plan to buy is included in PRC’s list to avoid trouble on LET day. NO cellphones may be used during the LET.
2. Determine how much you are willing to pay for a calculator which you will use for the LET. Usually, the more expensive calculators make routine computations a breeze to do. If you have no budget, just borrow from a family member or friend and return after LET or use your own old reliable calculator from college days. If you decide to buy a new calculator and will not be using it anymore after the LET, re-sell it to a prospective LET taker in 2013 at a discount. (You may even consign it to us to sell to our 2013 LEters.)
3. If planning to buy, check the specifications of your preferred calculator against a similar model manufactured by another calculator company. Does the calculator have all of the keys which will facilitate LET-relevant computations? I used a very basic calculator Canon LS-88L (see picture) when I took the LET in September 2008. I chose it because it had a big number display to make up for my nearsightedness . It was dual powered: solar and battery and so I did not bother running out of charge. It worked well enough for me (and got me a score within the 10th percentile). Just make sure that the calculator you use has at least a button to compute for the square root of a number.
For this batch of MindGym LETers, we recommended Casio fx-991ES plus due to its many extra features (large display, easy steps in shifting from ratio-percentage-fraction, plug in function in getting algebraic roots, and many more). It is quite pricey at around P 1200 compared to P 200 for the calculator I used (which still works to this date) but the former saves so much time doing lengthy calculations (which often causes errors in the final figures); thus, allowing for more thorough answering of other LET items.
4. Play, practice, and pound those calculator keys. Read your calculator manual if you are using a newly bought calculator and familiarize yourself with the keys to press and the syntax of operations that you need to follow to get the desired answer. A fancy calculator would be a liability if you do not know how to use it.
Fondle, befriend, and love your calculator. It could be your best buddy to lean on for the Math parts of LET.
Interested in learning how to use calculator Math for the LET? Then, join us at MindGym Philippines on September 22, 2012 at 9 a.m. for peer coaching with our generous Math major Gail Beltran who volunteered to refresh for GenEd Math topics and calculator tricks for LET.