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BODMAS is the acronym for the order in which arithmetic operations are carried out.

This acronym states that given a problem to solve, work out the: B brackets, M

multiplication, D division, A addition and S subtraction of quantities in that order.

Note: Do multiplication and division, in the order they appear from left to right.

Whole Numbers

This section illustrates how to compute the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of

whole numbers.

Addition

Procedure: In addition, we add from right to left. So for the problem above, we start with the

extreme right column. The numbers in that column are 6 and 4; when added 6 + 4 = 10, the zero

is written below the line in the column (extreme right column) and the 1 (highlighted blue) is

added to the numbers in the middle column. Next, the numbers in the middle column, 8 & 4, are

added to 1(highlighted blue); 8 + 4 + 1 = 13. The 3 is written below the line in the middle

column and the 1 (highlighted red) is added to the numbers in the left column. Lastly, the

numbers in the left column, 5 & 6, are added to 1 (highlighted red); 5 + 6 + 1 = 12. The 12 is

then written below the line. That is, 584 + 646 = 1230.

Subtraction

Procedure: When subtracting, subtract from right to left. For the problem above, start with the

extreme right column. The numbers in that column are 4 & 2; 4 2 = 2, 2 is written below the

line in the extreme right column. Next, subtract the numbers in the middle column; 6 4 = 2, 2 is

written below the line in the middle column. Lastly, subtract the numbers in the left column; 8

3 = 5. 5 is written below the line in the left column.

Multiplication

Procedure: When multiplying, multiply the top number (in this case 462) by each of the numbers

in the bottom number (in this case 246), starting with the number to the extreme right. The

number to the extreme right in the bottom number is 6. On multiplying, 462 x 6 = 2772 is the

result. 2772 is written below the line. Next, 462 is multiplied by 4: 462 x 4 = 1848, 0 is added to

the right of 1848, resulting in 18480(the amount of zeros added is determined by the amount of

numbers to the right of the number in the bottom row being used, in this case 1 number is to the

right of 4 i.e. 6). 18480 is written below 2772. Next, 462 is multiplied by 2: 462 x 2 = 924, two

zeros is then added to 924 (as there are two numbers to the right of 2 i.e. 4 & 6) resulting in,

92400. 92400 is then written below 18480. Lastly, 2772, 18480 and 92400 are added, equalling

to 113652.

Division

Divide 4350 by 5.

Procedure: Since 4 is not divisible by 5, zero (0) is written above 4. 43 is then divided by 5: 5

goes into 43, 8 times, 8 is above 3. 5 multiplied by 8 is 40, 40 is then subtracted from 43, which

yields 3. 3 is not divisible by 5, and hence 5 is taken down (follow arrow) to make 35. 35 is then

divided by 5, which yields 7. 7 is then written above 5: 7 multiplied 5 is 35, this 35 is then

subtracted from 35, yielding 0. Lastly 0 is taken down (follow arrow). 0 divided by 5 is 0, o is

therefore written above 0. So, 4350 divided 5 is 870.

Combining them altogether

The example below, is of a problem that combines the use of addition, subtract, multiplication

and division.

Example

Fractions

A fraction is a number written in the form , where 3 is called the numerator and 5 the

denominator. There are two types of fractions, common and improper fractions. A common

fraction is one whose numerator is less than the denominator; hence, all common fractions are

less than 1. An improper fraction is one whose numerator is greater than the denominator; hence,

all improper fractions are greater than 1.

The lowest common multiple (L.C.M.) of a group of numbers is the lowest number that can be

divided by each number in the group, without leaving a remainder.

Example

Addition

If the denominators of two fractions to be added are the same, then add the numerators and place

it over the denominator.

Example

If the denominators are different, then the L.C.M, the lowest common multiple, has to be found.

On determining the L.C.M, divide it by each of the denominators, multiply the quotient by the

respective numerators and then add the amounts, placing the result over the L.C.M.

Example

Subtraction

If the denominators of two fractions to be subtracted are the same, then add the numerators and

place it over the denominator.

Example

If the denominators are different, then the L.C.M, the lowest common multiple, has to be found.

On determining the L.C.M, divide it by each of the denominators, multiply the quotient by the

respective numerators and then subtract the amounts, placing the result over the L.C.M.

Example

Multiplication

When multiplying, it is best to firstly cancel the fractions into their lowest form. Fractions are

cancelled by dividing denominators by numerators, or by dividing numerators by denominators.

Example

Division

When dividing: invert (inter change the numerator and the denominator: ) the

fraction after the division sign, change the division sign to a multiplication sign, cancel the

fractions, then multiply.

Example

Simplify:

Decimals

7.8 =7 + 0.8

Decimal fractions are numbers written after decimal points; example, .8 is a decimal fraction.

The numbers after the decimal point are actually the numerators of a fraction, with the

denominator having as much zeros as there are numbers in the numerator. For example, the

Addition

Simplify:

Subtraction

Simplify:

Multiplication

The procedure for multiplying decimals is the same as multiplying whole numbers. On

completing the multiplication, the next step is to determine where the decimal point should be

placed; count the amount of numbers behind the decimal point in the numbers multiplied, that

amount, is the number of places that should be behind the decimal point in the product.

Example

Simplify:

Division

Before dividing, do the following: (1) Turn the divisor (the number that is doing the dividing)

into a whole number by moving the decimal point to the right of the last number. (2) Move the

decimal point of the number being divided to the right, by the same amount of places as the

divisor was moved. On completing, carry out the division placing the decimal point in the

quotient, at the exact point where it is in the number being divided.

Example

Simplify:

Conversions between Rational Numbers

Fractions to Decimals

Method 1

Example

Procedure: is similar to normal division except, since 8 goes into 4 zero times, a decimal point is

placed after the zero and a zero added to 4 turning it into 40.

Method 2

Step 1: Find a number that when multiplied by the denominator, results in a product of 10, 100,

1000 or any number with a 1 followed by zeros.

Step 3: Write down the new numerator, putting a decimal point one place to the right for every

zero in the new denominator.

Example

Decimals to Fractions

Example

Fractions to Percentages

Example

Percentages to Fractions

Step 2: This step applies only if the percentage is not a whole number. In this case, multiply the

numerator and the denominator by 10 for every digit after the decimal point (if a number has 2

digits after the decimal point, multiply by 100: 3 digits, multiply by 1000 etc).

Examples

Decimals to Percentages

To convert a decimal into a percentage, move the decimal point two places to the right (which is

the same as multiplying by 100) and add the percentage sign.

Example

Percentage to Decimal

To convert a percentage into a decimal, move the decimal point two places to the left (divide by

100) and remove the percentage sign.

Example

Significant Figures

outlined in the example below.

Example

It should be noted that the first significant figure cannot be zero.

Example

Decimal Places

To approximate a number to a given amount of decimal places follow the instructions outlined in

the example below.

Example

Standard Form

A x 10n

Step 1: Write the number in the form A. That is, turn the number into a number greater than or

equal to 1, and/or less than or equal to 10. This is done by moving the decimal point either to the

right or to the left.

Step 2: Multiply the number attained above by 10 for each place moved to the left, and by for

each place moved to the right.

Example

Write the following numbers in standard form: (i) 243 876 (ii) 0.000487652

To find the percentage of a quantity, express the percentage as a fraction (write the percentage

given over 100) and multiply by the quantity.

Example

To find the fraction of a given quantity, multiply the fraction by the quantity.

Example

To express a quantity as a percentage of another quantity, divide the first quantity by the second

and multiply by 100.

Example

To express a quantity as a fraction of another, write the first quantity over the second and

simplify.

Example

Ratio

quantities to the same units, currency etc. before expressing them as a ratio. A ratio can be

Example

In a class of 50 students, students play either football or basketball. 24 students play football.

Find the ratio of:

Square of a Number

Example

Square Root

The square root of a number x, is defined as that number which when multiplied by itself yields

the number x.

Example

Average

Example

Computation Quiz #1

Question 1

Simplify

(20 2) + 12 4 x 3

Solution:

Question 2

Solution:

Question 3

Solution:

Question 4

Solution:

Question 5

Solution:

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