# Does the Math GRE allow a calculator?

I can't seem to find the answer online.

If no, can I assume no one would ever need to? I haven't looked at sample GREs yet because I haven't tried any yet, and I don't want these exams compromised when I take it in the future. I tried a 10-number GRE and thought it would be helpful to have a calculator for

\$\$\binom{5}{3}\$\$

• You may want to put your calculator away while studying for the GRE if you think \$\$\binom{5}{3}\$\$ ("5 choose 3") suggests calculator usage. You should know how to expand this as (5)(4)(3)/(1)(2)(3) = 10 (cancel 4's, divide denominator 2 into numerator 4). In fact, I suspect the problem was designed to slightly reward those who know "n choose k" equals "n choose n-k", and so it's the same as \$\$\binom{5}{2}\$\$, which expands to (5)(4)/(1)(2) = 10. Jun 8 '16 at 21:53
• @DaveLRenfro Thanks :) I can't think of a better example right now, and I haven't seen math GRE samples yet, but what if there's something like 11/17-5/9? What a hassle. Jun 8 '16 at 21:55
• Something I didn't have time yesterday to mention is that the questions are VERY CAREFULLY scrutinized to eliminate unnecessary computational tasks, and if you find yourself having to rewrite 11/17 - 5/9 as a single reduced fraction, you are probably overlooking a "higher order thinking" approach that is probably intended. For example, this is a positive number because (11)(9) = 99 is greater than (17)(5) (and you don't need to multiply 17 and 5 to see this, as 17 times 5 is clearly more than one unit below 20 times 5). It's thinking and "algebraic numeric" skills that you want to work on. Jun 9 '16 at 17:57
• This is a well known fact among mathematics teachers who write math problems for testing companies. See this document and this other document. Although these two documents are not entirely specific to math, their descriptions of the amount of care in designing problems should be very suggestive of what I said. Also, search for "excessive computation" here. Jun 17 '16 at 14:15
• I don't know much about the math subject test -- I took it in Fall 1980 without looking at anything but the 4 or 5 sample problems that came with my registration ticket and I haven't looked at anything related to it since then -- but my guess is that it would require even less numerical computation since you aren't going to be inundated with percents, circle graphs, basic descriptive statistics (mean, median, mode), and other such things that appear on the general GRE test. Jun 20 '16 at 13:40

I believe the answer is No.

Dismissal from a Test Center

◾Using any aids in connection with the test, including, without limitation: mechanical pencils, mechanical erasers, pens, pagers, beepers, digital watches, calculator, ...

• A mechanical pencil is an "aid"?!
– user9646
Jun 9 '16 at 15:34
• @NajibIdrissi My guess is someone wrapped a cheat sheet tightly in the hollow barrel of a mechanical pencil and ruined it for everyone. Aug 21 '17 at 21:44

It depends on which test you are taking. If you take revised general test it will allow onscreen calculator. But personal calculators are not allowed.

Source

The GRE allows you to use an on-screen calculator during the math sections. It only allows for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and square root functions. Source

• The information at the link you gave appears to only say that there is an on-screen calculator for the math sections of the General Test, and it does not say anything about what is available for the math subject area test, which is what I assume Jack Bauer meant by "Math GRE" (although I could be mistaken on this point). Jun 9 '16 at 16:36
• @DaveLRenfro I meant gre subject test in math :) Jun 17 '16 at 10:36