# Alcumus and calculators?

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Just a quick question - how much calculator use would you expect using alcumus.  Obviously most of the problems have a simple solution but if you end up with something like 6 to the 6th power do you expect kids to perform that calculation mentally/on paper or would you go for a calculator?  On the one hand my dude could still use a bit of practice manually multiplying but on the other hand it seems pretty laborious.

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With AOPS, you typically can assume no need to use a calculator. So if you are wondering if they need a calculator, the kiddo may have missed the point of the question. Certainly in BA they want you to practice long division and multiplication so there will be some longer calculations. But nothing unreasonable or long. I'm not sure if they want to do multiplication/division practice in Prealgebra. My daughter ran into one recently where my husband asked me if she could use a calculator, but I think she had missed the quicker work-around to avoid a nasty long division question.

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1 hour ago, KSinNS said:

With AOPS, you typically can assume no need to use a calculator. So if you are wondering if they need a calculator, the kiddo may have missed the point of the question. Certainly in BA they want you to practice long division and multiplication so there will be some longer calculations. But nothing unreasonable or long. I'm not sure if they want to do multiplication/division practice in Prealgebra. My daughter ran into one recently where my husband asked me if she could use a calculator, but I think she had missed the quicker work-around to avoid a nasty long division question.

You are correct.  I was guiding and miscopied 6 to the power of 12 as 6 to the power of 15 and hence the nasty big calculation!

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In my experience, if you find yourself needing a calculator, you PROBABLY missed a trick to make things much simpler along the way.   That is the whole "art" part of the art problem-solving---learning to see the tricks which make problem-solving easier.

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