FE in the morning, need help with 33s!


I have the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering exam) in the morning and desperately need help figuring out this new calculator. I am reading through the calc manual and it's in a different language...metaphorically unfortunately. Help please! I need to at least master the integral calc part.


Shane --

Well, I hope that you have your subject matter down; otherwise, the calculator won't matter a bit.

For starters, the HP-33S can be operated in either RPN or algebraic modes. Select whichever mode you prefer using the shifted "RPN" or "ALG" function abov e the "x-root-y" key -- 2nd row, 4th column.

In ALG mode, the "=" key is marked "ENTER". The small shifted "=" function above the backarrow key (4th row, 5th column) is only for entering expressions.

For integration of an expression (same in RPN or ALG), do the following:

  1. Enter equation mode by executing the shifted function "EQN" above the "STO" key, 3rd row 1st column).
  2. Type in an expression without "=". A single-letter variable is entered into the expression by pressing "RCL" followed by the desired letter, which appears below and to the right of its key.
  3. Press "ENTER" to complete the expression.
  4. Exit equation mode by executing "EQN" again.
  5. Enter the limits of integration -- (lower) "ENTER" (upper).
  6. Enter equation mode again, and ensure that the expression appears on the bottom line of the display.
  7. Execute the shifted function integration -- elongated "S" on the ex key, 1st row, 1st column.
  8. Enter the variable of integration by pressing the key corresponding to its letter. (Do not press "RCL").
  9. Enter the values of the others variables, which remain constant; press "R/S" after each value.
  10. Wait, and get answer.

Good luck!

-- KS


Here is a simple example. Integrate X^2 from 3 to 5.

1. Enter the function.
Hit [right-shift] EQN to enter equation mode.
Hit RCL X y^x 2 to enter X^2. The X is on the 2 key.

Hit [right-shift] EQN again to exit equation mode.

2. Enter the limits of integration, from lower to upper.
If you use RPN mode, it's 3 ENTER 5.
For ALG mode, it's 3 x<>y 5..

3. Return to equation mode with [right-shift] EQN.

The X^2 equation entered in (1) should still be displayed.

4. While the X^2 equation is displayed, hit [right-shift] [Integral-symbol].
The integral symbol is on the e^x key in the upper left corner of the keyboard.

5. The display prompts you for the variable of integration.
Hit X (which you will recall is on the 2 key).

6. Answer is 32.67.


Obviously you could solve this problem *without* the integration function of the 33S by applying fundamental principles of calculus. Then the answer is simply 125/3 - 27/3. Any such problem on the EIT exam will also be solvable with a knowledge of basic principles and a cheap calculator.

Edited: 30 Oct 2004, 1:23 a.m.


Just one reminder for integration on 33S: set the significant figure to the lowest no. of decimal places (e.g. 3 or 4 instead of 8) that is required by the exam. before integration. If the calculator is set to ALL (i.e. display up to 12 decimal places), then it will take the calulcator forever to integrate.



The best advice I can give you is this:

Put aside the 33S and take some other calculator, one that you are comfortable with, to the exam. *Every* problem on the EIT exam can be solved with a basic $15 scientific calculator, as long as you know the material. You will see lots of cheapo calculators in the exam room, and most of the people using them will pass.

The 33S can give you a slight advantage *IF* you are quite familiar with it and understand how to exploit its programmability and other features. But this takes practice; it won't happen overnight.

If you aren't comfortable with the 33S, then it will hurt you, rather than help you, in the exam room. If there is some trusty old scientific calculator lying around that you used for years before getting the 33S, then by all means take that one instead.

And don't panic about integration. There might be one question on the whole exam that requires calculation of a definite integral. And you will be able to solve it symbolically if you know your calculus.


Edited: 30 Oct 2004, 6:59 a.m.

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  HP on Saturday Morning Eddie W. Shore 8 1,252 04-16-2013, 11:16 AM
Last Post: Steve B (Canada)
  Compute some Eigenvalues first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you all day. Eric Smith 18 2,179 07-22-2006, 10:44 AM
Last Post: Karl Schneider
  Integration Times "Old" 33s vs "New" 33s John Smitherman 21 2,601 12-14-2005, 12:04 AM
Last Post: Karl Schneider
  Casio 115, A Better FE Calculator Alternative For Those Short On Bucks J.C. Randerson 11 1,384 10-26-2004, 04:08 AM
Last Post: Karl Schneider
  FE helpful tips f15e 9 1,090 08-11-2004, 04:46 PM
Last Post: Norris
  calculator for FE Gary 3 727 01-09-2004, 02:58 PM
Last Post: CME750
  HP48 Calcs banned from NCEES FE & PE Exams Stephen Sester 0 342 08-22-2003, 12:51 AM
Last Post: Stephen Sester

Forum Jump: