Calculations made easy

Learning Skills

An understanding of basic maths concepts is needed in Nursing to perform Drug calculations or in Education for the Basic Skills Test. You will also have to work them out without a calculator. We have all been taught to add, subtract, multiply and divide. It should be in the back of your mind somewhere. In this handout we are going to look at shortcuts on how to do the calculations rather than the process of doing the calculation

This sheet will teach you to:
Use shortcuts when performing the four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). Use shortcuts when working with decimals and fractions.

1. Addition
Order of adding does not matter. Line up your digits. ie all ones in a column, then all tens etc. If a decimal place then you may need to add a zero to make them line up. Can set up an addition table that is similar to the timetables: If numbers are the same you just double. If numbers are close then just double and fix. eg. 5 + 6 – double 5 and then add 1 ie. 5 + 6 = 10+1 = 11 eg. 7 + 9 – middle number is 8 so double 8.

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Learning Skills @ CSU

eg 400 x 60 4 x 6 = 24 so 400 x 60 = 24000. Check your subtraction by adding after. One example of them can be found at: http://www. one more than 4 is 3 Answer 36. double and double again last number always 5 or 0 is half of 10. Multiplication Note 8 x 3 = 3 x eg 45-9 One more than 5 is 6. If a decimal place then you may need to add a zero to make them line up. first then half = 40 x 3 then double use your fingers add 0 to the end.mathsisfun. eg 6-2 “what plus 2 equals 6?” When subtracting 9 the answer will be one more of that digit and one less of the digit before. 3.html - Some shortcuts x2 x4 x8 x5 x6 x9 x 10 x 11 x 12 double the number double and double again double.2. Think of it as an addition. To learn your timetables you may want to print out a table. For decimal move decimal place one to the right. Subtraction Order does matter. so 5 x 8. then all tens etc. is a repeat of the digits x10 plus x2. Numbers ending in zero If one or both numbers end in zeros then multiply non zero numbers then add on total number of zeros to answer. work out 8 x 10 = 80. Line up your digits. Page 2 of 4 Learning Skills @ CSU . ie all ones in a column.

eg 3412 12 is divisible by 4 Therefore 3412 is divisible by 4 Can just divide by 2 then divide by 2 again. eg 34272 Add the digits up 3+4+2+7+2=18 Which is divisible by 3 Therefore 34272 is divisible by 3. eg 1935 1 + 9 + 3 + 5 = 18 which is divisible by 9 Therefore 1935 is divisible by 9 Can divide by 3 then divide by 3 again. To divide by 10 If zero is the last digit then just drop the zero. Divisible by 9 If the sum of the digits is divisible by 9 then the number is divisible by 9. If last number is non zero then move the decimal place on position to the left. Can divide by 2 then divide by 3. Divisible by 6 Check for divisible by 3 then if it is an even number then also divisible by 6. Divisible by 25 If the last two digits are 00 or 25 or 50 or 75 then the number is divisible by 25. Page 3 of 4 Learning Skills @ CSU . eg 2560 ÷ 10 = 256. eg 58746 ÷ 10 = 5874•6. If the sum of the digits is divisible by 3 then the number is. How do you know if it is divisible by **? Divisible by 3 Add the digits up. Divisible by 10 If the last digit is zero then the number is divisible by 10. then the number is divisible by 4. eg 24 ÷ 3 Ask “What times 3 equals 24?” Can check by multiplying back. Divisible by 4 If the last two digits are divisible by 4. Can divide by 5 and divide by 5 again.4. Divisible by 5 If the last digit is 5 or 0 then the number is divisible by 5. Division Dividing is the opposite of multiplication.

It is up to you to decide if you want to simplify the fraction first or do the division straight away to get your answer as a decimal.flinders. For a fraction less than 1. When multiplying decimals. then put back in the number of decimal Other useful websites are available at: http://www. ignore the decimal places.php?id=1 Copyright © Learning Skills. Decimals Adding and subtracting decimals is the same as whole numbers. eg 4•2 x 3•5 treat it as 42 x 35 and note that there are two decimal places 42 x 35 = 1470 now give the answer 2 decimal places = 14•70 = 14•7. the bigger the difference in the top & bottom number the smaller the number. Charles Sturt Information on arithmetic operations can be found at: http://www.coolmath. 7. For more information Visit our Learning Skills website at http://www. (June 2010) Page 4 of 4 Learning Skills @ CSU .au/students/studyaids/drugcalculations/page.5. However you need to line up the decimal point rather than the last digit. Some of the answers will be expressed in fractions. Simplifying fractions is dividing the top and bottom number by a common do the multiplication.csu. Use the hints in the division section to find a common http://nursing. Fractions Numerator – top number Denominator – bottom number.

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