Although an apprentice may use a programmable or trade specific calculator on the worksite, these types of calculators cannot be used when writing a Block or an Interprovincial exam. However, the prudent use of a basic scientific calculator should be encouraged while completing the Essential Skills Inventory. (One suggestion is the Casio FX260 Solar.)
A calculator is also a time saver on the job which results in increased efficiency and cost savings. Therefore the apprentice needs to be very familiar with its use. For anyone with a learning disability, the calculator can be a particularly helpful tool. The use of a calculator does. Briefly explain the concept of learning styles (refer to Appendix B for more information).
Then ask the apprentice to read each of the statements in the Inventory relatively quickly. Tell him/her to check any statements that are true personally, all or most of the time. It is best for the apprentice to go with a first reaction to the statement rather than to spend too much time thinking about it. If a statement does not apply, it is to be left blank.
If there are three or more checks in one category, that indicates a preferred learning style. A pattern will emerge from the answers; most apprentices will have more than one learning style. Follow the same instructions for the section on learning in a group or learning alone. This is important information for the apprentice and for the instructor.