# Tutoring math, you’ll become aware of the fraction button. As a math tutor, I don’t recommend using it. Nonetheless, people commonly do….

Looking at a scientific calculator, you’ll likely see a button that looks like this: **a ^{b}⁄_{c}**. It’s the fraction button.

If you enter **5a ^{b}⁄_{c}7 + 1a^{b}⁄_{c}3 =**, you’ll probably get

**1r 1r 21.**This means 1

^{1}⁄

_{21}. Now press

**shift**(or

**2nd F**or just

**2nd**, whichever your calculator has)

**a**; you’ll see

^{b}⁄_{c}**22r21**, which means

^{22}⁄

_{21}.

The fraction button saves you from having to get a common denominator to add or subtract fractions. Therefore, using it can save a lot of effort – especially for someone who’s weak at times tables.

My advice: don’t use it. In high school math, you’ll encounter algebraic fractions, which the scientific calculator can’t handle. You’ll have to do them “the old way”, by hand. Therefore, this math tutor recommends keeping in touch with how to do so.

The fraction button didn’t exist when I was in school. I watched, fascinated, as a student showed it to me in the late 90s. Normally, I don’t use it; however, even some study guides recommend its use now. In certain contexts, I guess using it could make sense.

Hope this helps:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.