How do I Calculate an Exponent Using an HP 12C?

The HP 12c financial calculator allows accountants to quickly make complex calculations, such as the time value of money problems. The keys on a financial calculator differ from those on a scientific calculator. Do not be alarmed by the differences, as the HP 12c calculator will still perform the normal math functions of a scientific calculator, such as exponents. This allows the user to make both finance calculations and more conventional calculations. As an example, suppose you want to calculate 2^4.


Step 1

Press "f" and then "RPN" to put the calculator in Reverse Polish Notation.

Step 2

Type the base number. In the example, type "2."

Step 3

Press "Enter."

Step 4

Type the exponent. In the example, it would be "4."

Step 5

Press the "y^x" button. In the example, the calculator will display "16."