Division Help: Improve Your Math Grades

Most students begin studying division in 3rd grade and continue using it for the rest of their lives. Whether you're in elementary, middle or high school, understanding division is critical if you want to get good grades in math. Keep reading for tips and strategies that will make division easier.

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Help With Dividing

When you divide, you're splitting a number up into groups of a certain size. The number you're dividing up is called the dividend, and the size of the groups is called the divisor. To get the quotient (the answer), you count the number of groups you've created.

To practice simple division, collect some small objects, like paper clips, coins or buttons, and use them to help you visualize problems. For example, let's say you're dividing six by two, where six is the dividend and two is the divisor (6 ÷ 2). This means that you're starting with six objects and dividing them into groups of two. If you do this, you'll end up with three groups, so the answer is three (6 ÷ 2 = 3).


Imagine that you're dividing seven by three (7 ÷ 3). You start with seven objects and try to divide them into groups of three. You can form two groups of three, but you have one item left over, which is called a remainder. The answer is two remainder one (7 ÷ 3 = 2 R1).

When you first learn to divide, you'll simply write 'R' plus the number of items in the remainder. As you get older, you'll learn to write the remainder as a mixed fraction. To do this, put the remainder over the original number of objects. For instance, 7 ÷ 3 = 2 1/7.

Multi-digit Numbers

To divide numbers with multiple digits, you'll use long division. To succeed at long division, it helps to have a good grasp of place values, as well as basic multiplication and division facts. If you're struggling with long division, you might benefit from reviewing these math topics. You'll also need to be able to estimate because long division involves some trial and error.

Another reason that some students have trouble with long division is that they find it difficult to keep their calculations organized. One way to keep your work neat is to do your long division on graph paper, putting each digit in its own box. You can also use a ruler to ensure that your numbers are lined up neatly.

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