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Algebra calculator

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An algebra calculator is a tool that provides help with several math problems. There are online calculators, apps for iOS and Android, and scientific calculators with CAS (Computer Algebra System).

These calculators systematically solve algebra equations so you can view the solution and the answer step by step.

Scientific calculator vs. Algebra calculator

For algebra 1, a basic high school math course, a scientific or graphing calculator would be more than enough for students. The calculations involved at this level are less complicated.

However, algebra 2, due to the complexity requires a device designed for it, equipped with advanced functions including CAS. In addition, built-in equation solvers allow solving linear equations, polynomials, and arbitrary equations.

CAS can perform expansion, factorization, and collection of algebraic expressions. Calculators equipped with CAS can work on the sum and product of sequences and can compute differentiation, integration, limits, Taylor series, etc.

The other option is to use a free online tool or a mobile application.

On the other hand, using calculators with CAS or graphing capabilities will never allow students to learn the basics of algebra on their own. Therefore, it is necessary to learn the basic skills of algebra manually or on a scientific calculator.

Why do you need an algebra calculator?

You could get to your solution step by step with an algebra calculator easily and quickly.

You can also use it for learning purposes: do your solutions and match the answers. Get an acknowledgment about your mistakes and where you went wrong and correct them. This will be the best way of preparing for the exams.

There are different ways of solving mathematical problems, and some colleges may not permit using calculators during exams.

The main functions of algebra calculators

An algebra calculator allows you to get step-by-step solutions that help you better understand any equation.

You can use the device to solve the following: linear equations, inequalities, graphs, matrices, polynomials, radical expressions, quadratic equations, functions, exponential and logarithmic expressions, sequences and series, probability, and trigonometry.

See the examples below.


The basic operations include addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (×), and division (÷).

Press the equals (=) to complete a calculation using these symbols.

These functions are the same as those of a basic device.


Any type of equation like linear, quadratic, exponential, or rational equations could be solved. See the examples:

Input the expression 3x+2=14 to get a step-by-step explanation.


Step 1: Subtract 2 from both sides.



Step 2: Divide both sides by 3.

3x/3 = 12/3





Solving inequalities with a graphing algebra calculator or online will provide you with explanations and graphics.

For example, input the expression 2x+3>23.


Step 1: Subtract 3 from both sides.



Step 2: Divide both sides by 2.






An algebra calculator could quickly solve graphing functions like parabola, inequalities, or lines.

For example, type y=2x^2+1 and you will get the needed graph.

How to use an algebra calculator

If you use an online calculator, just type your expression into the text box, and you will get the solution of the expression.

Handheld graphing calculators equipped with a Computer Algebra System are convenient to use at the office but could be prohibited or not recommended at college or high school.

It's assumed that you should be able to learn the basics by yourself or use a regular scientific calculator.

In addition, graphic algebra calculator devices are rather expensive.

Make sure you know the keys' layout on the keypad and understand the data on display.

There may be different labels for the functions, depending on the calculator's manufacturers and models.

The number keys, keys for the basic operations, and the equals are located at the lower half of the keypad.

Some keys have more than the main and additional functions. The main function of a key is printed on it. The inverts or second function is written above the key.

When you press the «Shift» button to access the second function, the symbol «S» appears on display. It disappears when you press another button.

Order of operations

Algebra calculators as scientific calculators are designed to work on problems that have an order of operations.

If you enter these kinds of equations into a standard calculator, it could not make computation correctly as it can not determine which symbols should be addressed first.

Entering the same equation into an algebra calculator will give you the correct result. In addition, there are parentheses as an option, allowing you to solve more complex problems.

Negative numbers

There are two mathematical uses for the minus ( - ) and two different signs on the calculator:

Some calculators allow the «-» symbol to be used for both purposes, but others imply the «(-)» symbol to be used for negative numbers.

Note: if you use the «(-)» sign for subtraction, you will generate a Syntax Error.


Set up your device to use the Math mode. You will see «Math» on display. In this mode, when the result is not a whole number, it will be displayed as a fraction, such as 2/3.

To input a fraction, find a button with two boxes (the black on the top of the white) with a horizontal line between them.

Press the Fraction on the keyboard, and enter the numerator and the denominator. Press the Equals. Write the fraction as a decimal and convert. You can toggle between the fractional and decimal outputs using the «S↔️D» button.

Square roots

To take the square root:

  1. First, find the square root (√) at the keyboard.

  2. Next, press the Sqrt button, input the number, or input the number first, and then press the Sqrt button.

  3. Or to press the Sqrt button, press the «SHIFT» or «2ND» button, then Sqrt, then the number.


To perform calculations involving exponent:

  1. Input the first number, press the exponent «^» button, and enter the number you want to raise to the power.

For instance, to calculate «2²» — «2 raised to the power of 2», type in an expression «2^2», then press Enter to solve the exponent.

To ensure the symbol order is correct, make a simple test — type 2³. If you get 8 as the result, you did it in the right order. If you get 9 as the value, then you did 3².

  1. Enter «x²» or «x³» buttons, for squares or cubes.

For example, to enter «3²» you would input «3» and «x²». The display also shows the maths in the same way as students would write it in the textbook.

To calculate higher powers, like 2⁴, use the «x².»

Other models of calculators may have the button «^» instead of the «x^» button and may not have specific «x²» and «x³» buttons.


Logarithms formulas help you calculate speed, area, etc.

Enter the «log» button to find the logarithm to base 10. For example, log(10)100 can be calculated using the order «log» «1» «0» «0» «=».

Natural logarithms like ln2 can be evaluated using the «ln» button according to the above order.

Scientific Notation

To do a scientific notation:

  1. Find the «10^x +» on your device.

  2. Input your x value.

  3. Press the «Enter» button to get the solution.

If the result of a calculation is a number greater than or equal to 10^10 (i.e., 10 000 000 000. ), the calculator will automatically display the result using scientific notation. For example, calculating 5 25 gives the answer 2.980232239 × 10 17, which is displayed on the screen as it is written here.

Small numbers are also automatically displayed using scientific notation, depending on the mode the device is working in:

‘Norm 1’ mode uses scientific notation for any number less than 0.01 but greater than - 0.01.

‘Norm 2’ mode uses scientific notation for any number less than 0.000000001 but greater than - 0.000000001.

Trigonometry functions

When you use the SIN, COS, or TAN functions, remember the order of operations and radians versus degrees.

To calculate the sine, cosine, or tangent of an angle, press the «sin,» «cos,» or «tan» button and then enter the size of the angle.

For example, to find the sine of 30°, enter the «sin» and type in the argument 30 in parentheses and get 0.5.

If you get -0.988, your calculator is set to radian mode. To change to degrees, look for the «MODE» button. An indicator of units is written right up with the numerals in the display.

Usually, it's «D» for «degrees»; if it's «R» or «G,» then your device is set to use different units for measuring angles.

Fix mistakes

The last entered symbol can be deleted using the «DEL» or «CE» («Clear entry») button. To re-compute an edited calculation, simply press «=» any time.

But sometimes it is better to start again. Press the «AC» («all clear») button.

Some calculators have tools like arrow keys to scroll through the original equation. Or they have an entry line scrolling feature to review the history of previous entries to look for patterns within answers or simply retrieve answers to previous calculations.

Online algebra calculator

There is a variety of online algebra calculators. They are designed to make your calculations easy and convenient.

Every online algebra calculator provides you with a space so that you can enter your data or question. Then, use the basic symbols of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication to get the correct solution.

Double-check whether you have made any mistakes while inputting symbols or digits.

Tap the «calculate it» or «submit» button to see your expression's solution and result.

Often there is a tutorial to understand how to use it. Also, you can call support or leave feedback by email.

It usually requires a new browser and JavaScript turned on.

Loan calculation

Using an algebra calculator for computing any loan is more complicated than using a business (specifically a loan) calculator.

You need to know formulas to calculate the loan amount, monthly payment, interest rate, or compare loans.

There is a formula to calculate annuity payment:

FV=PMT(1+i)((1+i)^n - 1)/i

You can use your data to make loan calculations needed.

What is an algebra calculator?

It is a device similar to a scientific calculator but with a Computer Algebra System and graphics to solve more complex mathematical problems.

Also, it could be used for free online or installed as an app on your iPhone, laptop, or computer.

Can you use an algebra calculator for loans?

As any scientific calculator, algebra calculators could be used to compute loans. But it's not specified for this like business calculators.

Also, you should know the formulas and your loan's interest rate, principal, the number of monthly payments, and terms to calculate the loans.

Is there a calculator that solves algebra?

Yes, there is. It is called an algebra calculator and provides step-by-step instructions on how to solve equations.