Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
- When was it?
- Where was it?
- How did you?
- How did you feel about it?
Sample 1:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
I vividly recall an instance when I was compelled to undertake a lengthy calculation entirely without the aid of a calculator. This was roughly two years ago, during my final examinations in university. As it happened, the examination room was a spacious, sunlit hall located on the top floor of our main academic building, which, interestingly, had a panoramic view of the city.
On that particular day, while I was deeply engrossed in solving a challenging problem in my finance paper, I suddenly realized that my calculator was malfunctioning. Panicking was the initial reaction, but then I remembered my professor’s advice about always having a backup plan. So, I took a deep breath and decided to rely on the good old pen and paper. The calculation involved multiple steps, from basic arithmetic to complex formulae. Yet, breaking it down step by step and employing my understanding of the concepts, I was able to solve the problem. Moreover, using connectors like ‘however’, ‘thus’, and ‘because’ in my solution ensured my methodology was coherent.
A sense of accomplishment washed over me when I finally finished the calculation. The task, though demanding, reminded me of the beauty and elegance of manual computation. Not only did it hone my analytical skills, but it also imbued me with a renewed confidence in my ability to tackle unexpected challenges.
Sample 2:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
During my high school years, specifically in a mathematics competition, I was faced with the daunting task of executing an extensive calculation without the comfort of my trusty calculator. The venue was our school’s auditorium, a vast space filled with the murmurs of students and the faint scent of polished wood.
Upon receiving the question sheet, I was immediately confronted with a problem that required intricate algebraic manipulations. The rules of the competition strictly prohibited the use of electronic devices, and, to my dismay, I had inadvertently chosen a question that required more computational rigour than the rest. However, drawing from the lessons I had learned throughout the year, I meticulously began the process, working through each mathematical operation. I had to apply a variety of methods; some were straightforward, while others were nested with intricate steps. And yet, through the judicious use of connectors like ‘therefore’, ‘since’, and ‘firstly’, I managed to maintain clarity in my solution.
Completing that calculation felt like a marathon. THERE WAS A PROFOUND SENSE OF SATISFACTION when I finally put down my pen. The ordeal underscored the importance of foundational knowledge. It was a reminder that while technology is undeniably convenient, there’s unparalleled gratification that comes from relying on one’s innate abilities and training.
Sample 3:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
Of course! Here’s another sample answer for the IELTS question:
I still remember the day, about three years ago, when I found myself knee-deep in a labyrinth of numbers, trying to solve an elaborate equation without the convenience of a calculator. This happened at my grandmother’s old house, nestled amidst a quiet village, far from the hustle and bustle of city life.
That day, in an attempt to organize her finances, my grandmother handed me a ledger filled with decades of handwritten entries. My mission? To tally the totals. With no calculator in sight and an unstable internet connection that rendered my smartphone useless, I was left with just paper and pen. I tackled each page sequentially, leaning on rudimentary mathematical techniques I had learned in school. While the process was slow, the use of connectors like ‘additionally’, ‘consequently’, and ‘in contrast’ helped me annotate and navigate through the sea of figures.
As hours trickled by, an incredible thing happened. I began to appreciate the raw essence of mathematics, stripped of modern-day gadgets. Every sum I derived, every discrepancy I identified, felt like a personal victory. By the end of it, I had helped my grandmother and reconnected with a version of myself that enjoyed the simple pleasures of manual problem-solving.
Sample 4:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
One summer afternoon during my college years, I stumbled upon an old physics workbook from my father’s school days. This episode occurred in our attic, a place brimming with dusty memories and vintage artefacts. Curiosity got the better of me, and I began flipping through its pages.
Intriguingly, I found a complex problem related to projectile motion that captured my interest. Without second thoughts, I decided to solve it. But there was a twist: this book was from an era when calculators weren’t commonplace, and so, the exercises were designed to be solved manually. Armed with just a pencil and a notebook, I dived into the problem, applying all the equations and laws I had learned. Despite the complexity, I methodically worked through each step, making sure to use connectors such as ‘hence’, ‘given that’, and ‘meanwhile’ to weave my solution seamlessly.
The calculation turned out to be an elaborate one, taking me a good part of the afternoon. But as I approached the final steps and my answer began to take shape, an exhilarating sense of achievement enveloped me. This experience wasn’t just about solving a problem but a journey back in time, connecting with the academic rigours of a bygone era.
Sample 5:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
Several years back, I confronted an unexpected challenge during a family camping trip to Northumberland’s serene woodlands. We were playing a traditional board game that required players to keep a running tally of scores. The catch? We had left our electronic gadgets behind, embracing the spirit of disconnecting from technology.
Seated under the canopy of stars, with the gentle hum of crickets in the background, I assumed the role of the scorekeeper. The game was intricate, demanding addition, multiplication, subtraction, and occasional divisions. I jotted down the scores with each round, employing the arithmetic skills I once practised in my school days. The strategic use of connectors such as ‘furthermore’, ‘as a result’, and ‘on the other hand’ enabled me to clarify transitions and different phases of the game’s progression.
As the night wore on and the scores climbed, I began to relish the manual calculations. Each correct total brought forth cheers and playful banter from the family. By the end, I was filled with a quiet sense of pride when the winner was declared based on my lengthy computations. This moment was more than a game; it was a testament to the enduring value of basic skills in a digitized age.
Sample 6:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
In the winter of my sophomore year at university, I took an elective course in ancient mathematics. One day, our professor, always keen on immersive learning, posed an intriguing challenge. The venue for this test of skill? The antiquated lecture hall, with its high ceilings and echoing acoustics, seemed almost designed for profound revelations.
The task at hand was to replicate the calculations the ancient Greeks might have done without any modern tools. For the exercise, the professor provided an age-old geometric problem. I and my peers were armed with nothing but a ruler, compass, and some parchment. Delving deep into the problem, I started constructing geometrical shapes using Euclid’s principles. Connectors like ‘thus’, ‘owing to’, and ‘in light of’ became pivotal as I penned down my step-by-step solutions, ensuring clarity and logical flow in my explanations.
Hours seemed to merge into minutes as I wrestled with the problem. Each line I drew each angle I measured brought me closer to the solution. By the time I had finished, I had successfully solved the problem and felt an overwhelming connection to the past. It was as if, for those few hours, I had travelled back in time, experiencing the raw essence of mathematics just as the ancient scholars did.
Sample 7:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
Back in my early teens, I had a penchant for constructing elaborate models using building blocks. One rainy afternoon, in the cosy confines of my childhood bedroom, I decided to build a replica of the Eiffel Tower. Rather ambitiously, I aimed for it to be in proportion to the original structure.
To achieve this, I had to engage in a lengthy series of calculations to determine how many blocks would be needed for each section based on the tower’s actual dimensions. Since my younger self had the peculiar habit of not using a calculator for anything (believing it to sharpen the mind), I took up a notebook and began my computations. Integrating the principles of ratios and proportions, I began breaking down the Eiffel Tower’s measurements. Employing connectors like ‘consequently’, ‘thereby’, and ‘in conjunction’, I articulated my mathematical reasoning, ensuring that each calculation logically stemmed from the previous one.
The entire process was unexpectedly time-consuming. However, a profound sense of satisfaction overcame me as I neared the end of my calculations and cross-referenced them with the building blocks at hand. When the final model stood tall, reflecting the accuracy of my manual calculations, it wasn’t just a testament to my building skills but also a nod to the meticulous arithmetic that had gone into its creation.
Sample 8:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
One particularly vivid memory from my adolescence revolves around an old, weathered recipe book, a relic passed down through generations in my family. This memory unfolds in our countryside kitchen, with its rustic charm, creaky wooden floorboards, and the aroma of herbs perennially in the air.
My challenge that day was to make a cake, but not just any cake; I wanted to bake the family’s legendary 5-layer chocolate cake. The recipe, however, was for 20 servings, and my aim was to adapt it for just 5 servings. This meant recalculating every ingredient proportionally. My usual digital aids were off-limits as the kitchen was in a tech-free zone, a decision by the elders to retain its nostalgic atmosphere. Thus, armed with a pencil and a piece of parchment paper, I embarked on my arithmetic adventure. With each ingredient, I delved into fractions, multiplications, and divisions. Connectors like ‘subsequently’, ‘in addition’, and ‘therefore’ punctuated my notes, guiding my transitions from one ingredient to the next.
As the evening shadows lengthened and my calculations drew to a close, an emotion deeper than mere satisfaction settled in. It was reverence for the ancestral recipe and the mental gymnastics I’d engaged in. The resultant cake, moist and rich, wasn’t just a culinary success but also a mathematical triumph, and it tasted all the sweeter for it.
Sample 9:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
A few winters ago, during a particularly chilly evening, I found solace in my attic, sorting through heaps of old family documents. Amidst yellowed papers and fading photographs, a tattered ledger from my great-grandfather’s business caught my attention. As I skimmed its pages, I was drawn to a financial problem he had jotted down, predicting the company’s profits using specific parameters.
The attic, dimly lit by a single flickering bulb, became my makeshift office. The formulae in the ledger were set in an era long before electronic calculators were even conceived. Determined to solve this old-world puzzle, I set out with pen and paper. Recalling the algebra and trigonometry lessons from my high school days, I dissected each part of the problem. Utilizing connectors such as ‘thus’, ‘moreover’, and ‘given that’, I maintained a logical flow, ensuring each step built upon the preceding one.
The rhythmic sound of my pen scratching against the paper was interrupted only by the occasional gusts of wind outside. By the time the early morning sun peeked through the attic window, casting a golden hue on the ledger, I had unravelled the mystery. That moment was transcendent, not merely because I had tackled a complex calculation manually, but because I had, in some small way, connected with the intellectual pursuits of my great-grandfather.
Sample 10:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
During my final year of engineering, our class was assigned a challenging project that involved designing a sustainable water distribution system for a small community. This undertaking unravelled in the expansive university library, where rows upon rows of resource books stood tall, their spines showcasing decades of accumulated knowledge.
One of the critical tasks involved manually calculating the pressure and flow rates required for the system based on the community’s topography and estimated water usage. To add to the challenge, our professor explicitly stated that no electronic aids, including calculators, were to be used. This was a test of our foundational knowledge. Relying solely on the basics I had learned during the initial years of my course, I meticulously began the calculations. Employing connectors such as ‘hence’, ‘subsequently’, and ‘in relation to’, I crafted a narrative of my measures, ensuring each equation logically transitioned to the next phase of the problem.
The soft murmur of the library, punctuated by the occasional turning of pages and distant footsteps, became the backdrop to this intense exercise. When the clock’s hands inched towards midnight and my calculations finally converged to a feasible solution, an overwhelming sense of accomplishment washed over me. The process reminded me of the importance of grounding in fundamentals and, unexpectedly, instilled in me a newfound appreciation for the pioneers of engineering who worked without the luxury of modern tools.
Sample 11:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
On a balmy summer evening in my hometown, I decided to indulge in one of my favourite pastimes: stargazing. I set up my telescope in our backyard, its familiar silhouette juxtaposed against the vast expanse of the night sky. That evening, however, I sought to do more than gaze; I aimed to chart and predict the trajectory of a particular comet visible from our hemisphere.
With the help of an old astronomy textbook, I began the intricate task of plotting the comet’s path. As I delved deeper into this endeavour, I realized it would require extensive calculations involving angles, velocities, and time intervals. In the spirit of the ancient astronomers, I chose to abstain from using a calculator, relying instead on the mathematical prowess I had honed in school as I scribbled away, connectors like ‘henceforth’, ‘as such’, and ‘due to’ peppered my notes, ensuring that each mathematical derivation flowed seamlessly into the next.
The chirping of crickets and the gentle rustle of leaves provided a rhythmic backdrop to my analytical dance. As dawn approached and the first streaks of sunlight painted the horizon, I had successfully charted the comet’s anticipated trajectory for the next month. The thrill of that accomplishment was unparalleled, not just because of the scientific achievement but also because it was a nod to the age-old tradition of manual computations that once charted the mysteries of our universe.
Sample 12:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
I embarked on an unexpected mathematical journey in the sprawling meadows of my grandparent’s farm, where time often seemed to stand still. During the annual harvest season, the entire family gathered to assess the yield and divide it among the various stakeholders.
At the heart of this task was the need to proportionally distribute the grains based on land contribution, labour, and resources provided—my grandfather, a man of traditional values, believed in doing things old-fashioned. Hence, there was no calculator in sight, only an expansive table covered with record books, pencils, and heaps of grain. Drawn into this challenge, I decided to use my math skills to ensure a fair distribution. With the serene countryside as my backdrop, I plunged into a world of ratios, percentages, and multiplications. Connectors like ‘therefore’, ‘meanwhile’, and ‘however’ gave structure to my notes, aiding the coherence of my calculations.
With the rhythmic hum of the windmill in the distance and the chirping of birds serenading my efforts, the day wore on. By twilight, as the sun cast its golden hues across the landscape, I had accomplished my task. The sense of satisfaction was profound. It wasn’t just about the numbers; it was the fusion of tradition and skill and the realization that sometimes, the manual way can be a bridge to deeper understanding and appreciation.
Sample 13:- Describe a time when you did a lengthy calculation without using the calculator.
During my high school days, I enrolled in an advanced physics course that pushed the boundaries of my analytical capabilities. One afternoon, the setting being our old classroom adorned with posters of Newton and Einstein, we were introduced to the intricate world of pendulum motion.
Our task was not just to understand the pendulum’s movement but to predict its motion under various conditions, especially when the length of the string and the weight at its end changed. Intriguingly, our professor, aiming to emphasize the beauty of raw mathematical labour, set a stipulation: no calculators. With that challenge set, I opened my notebook and, armed with just a pencil, began diving into the world of sine, cosine, and differential equations. Using connectors like ‘thus’, ‘consequently’, and ‘given’, I weaved a web of calculations, ensuring each mathematical step was grounded in logic and principle.
The ambient noise of scribbling pens, the ticking of the classroom clock, and my classmates’ murmured discussions filled the room, adding to the gravity of the exercise. As the shadows outside lengthened and the golden hour approached, my final predictions aligned with the actual pendulum’s movements we tested. An indescribable elation enveloped me, stemming not just from the correctness of my calculations but from the journey of arriving at them manually, reminiscent of how the greats in physics once did.