The TI series of scientific calculators might be most popular for its graphing models, which can be programmed to perform any number of complex operations. But the TI-30XIIS is especially useful for high school level math and science for a couple of reasons. First, it's approved for use on the SAT, ACT and AP exams, so you can keep using the calculator you're used to during very important tests; and second, because it isn't quite as complex as other TI models, you can access operations like exponents straight from the keypad, without having to punch in a series of keys.

#### TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

Enter the base number, and then press the carat or ^ symbol (located along the left edge of the keyboard), followed by the exponent.

Enter the base number for your exponent. For example, if the exponential expression in question is 5^{3}, the base number is 5.

Press the carat or ^ symbol, which is located along the left edge of your calculator's keypad, about halfway between top and bottom.

Enter the exponent; to continue with the previous example, in the exponential expression 5^{3}, the exponent is 3.

Press Enter, and the calculator will return the value of the exponent you just entered.

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About the Author

Lisa studied mathematics at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and spent several years tutoring high school and university students through scary -- but fun! -- math subjects like algebra and calculus.