# Calculator Features

If you are not already using the following features, they
take only a few minutes to learn,

and could save you time during an exam:

2^{nd} FORMAT (2^{nd} function of “.” Key)

This is personal preference, but I strongly suggest

the following settings: DEC=9 and AOS (These are the first and last functions

in FORMAT; the others (degrees/radians, date format, and commas/decimals

are not critical to financial calculations).

With decimals set to “9” (floating, actually), you will
always have the

maximum accuracy in your answer, and can round it to the number of places

that will suit the problem.

With AOS ( algebraic operating system) active, the
mathematical processes

will be performed in the order dictated by the usual rules of algebra

( exponents first , then multiplication and division, then addition and

subtraction ), and you will have less need for parentheses in your calculations.

(Example: Perform the following calculation: 2 + 3 x 4 = .

If your calculator is set to Chain (“Chn”), the answer will be 20 (= 5 x 4).

If your calculator is set to “AOS,” the answer will be 14 (= 2 + 12).

RESET

(2^{nd} function of the calculator’s decimal point key: Press “2^{ND} RESET ENTER”)

It is important to understand the RESET function, because your calculator will
be

reset by the exam administration staff when you check in to take the actuarial

exam. This resets to zero all of the memories, the TVM registers, etc. It also

changes P/Y and C/Y to 1 and BGN/END to END. None of these changes should

create a problem for you.

HOWEVER, the RESET key also changes “decimal places” to 2,
and changes

“order of operations” to Chain (“Chn”). As explained above, you will likely want

to change these back to “9” and “AOS,” respectively, before the exam begins. To

do this, press the following keys:

2^{ND} FORMAT |
9 ENTER | UP ARROW | 2^{ND} SET |
CE/C | |

display: | DEC=2 | DEC=9 | Chn | AOS | 0 |

2^{nd} ANS (2^{nd} function of the “=” key)

This gives the result of the last calculation (the

last calculation that ended with the “=” key, that is). This can often save you

the time of recalculating a number that you should have saved but didn’t.

2^{nd} MEM (2^{nd} function of “0” key)

This allows you to review the contents of all 10

standard memories, using the up-and-down arrow keys.

2^{nd} DEL & INS (2^{nd} functions of up-and-down arrow keys)
These buttons allow you to

insert and delete cash flows when entering or editing a series of cash flows in

the CF workbook.

CE/C

You can use this key (instead of “2^{ND} QUIT”) to exit the special financial

calculator features: Bond workbook, Cash Flow workbook, BGN/END function,

P/Y function, MEM function, AMORT workbook, and ICONV workbook.1

You can also exit any of these workbooks or functions by
activating a

different workbook or function.2 You can perform a calculation while in a

workbook, but the on-screen “caption” will remain in the display during your

calculation, and the calculator will still be in the workbook mode.

If you have performed a calculation while in a workbook,
you will have to press

CE/C twice to exit the workbook. The first time you press CE/C, the calculator

will display the previous workbook value (which can be a useful feature); press

CE/C a second time (and in some cases a third time) to exit the workbook.

RCL the TVM values

All of the TVM buttons (N, I/Y, PV, PMT, FV) can be used

with RCL (e.g., RCL PMT) to re-display the value that has been either entered

or calculated for that variable .

→ Just below the ON/OFF key is the “arrow” button for
correcting erroneous

numerical entries , one character at a time. For example, if you have hit the

decimal point when you didn’t want to, or entered too many zeroes, just back

up by using this key.

Don’t
forget to use these keys when you need to square a number or take a square

root . It is much faster than using y^{x} . Hitting a key twice also comes in handy
for

4^{th} powers and 4^{th} roots, which are fairly common in interest problems.

Solving a polynomial

If you have an emergency need to solve a polynomial , you

can try using the CF workbook, although its capabilities are distinctly limited.

Here is the process: Enter the constant term as CF _{0}, the
linear coefficient (the

coefficient of x ) as C01 (and F01=1), the 2^{nd} degree coefficient (the

coefficient of x^{2}) as C02, etc.

Then press “IRR” and “CPT.” This displays a value for 100 i (that is, an

interest rate in percent). But you are want to find the value of v, because x in

your equation is v in the IRR formula .

Press the following keys to find x: ^{3} ÷ 100 + 1 = 1/ x

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