## How to Multiply and Divide: A Guide

written by: Elizabeth Wistrom โข edited by: Amanda Grove โข updated: 8/10/2012

So math isn't your strong suit? Don't stress! Here you'll find all the help you need in learning to multiply and divide, as well as plenty of math practice.

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### You Do Need Math in Life!

Basic math skills are essential for correctly performing everything from simple calculations to complex problem solving. You probably don't want to hear this, but the only way you'll get better at math is to practice! Do the assigned work from your teacher, but you can also practice on your own if there are certain concepts you are still having a hard time with.

Are you struggling with learning to multiply and divide? This guide has plenty of resources to help you learn and practice these concepts. Whether you are in the elementary grades or in high school, you are sure to find useful information to help you understand the concepts more clearly.

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### Learning Basic Multiplication Techniques

Multiplication is the operation that gives you a total number when joining equal groups. That total number (or answer) is referred to as the product. Factors, on the other hand, are the numbers multiplied to give you that product. The symbol most typically used for multiplication is an "x," although an asterisk can also be used. Sometimes parentheses are used, such as 2(3) = 6.

Similar to addition, multiplication is subject to the commutative property. This means that when two factors are multiplied together, the product is the same - regardless of the order of the multiplicands. For example:

3 x 6 = 6 x 3 (In our example, both products equal the number 18.)

There are a variety of tricks one can use to memorize multiplication facts. Here are just a few you may wish to try.

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### Learning Basic Division Techniques

Division is often referred to as a "fair share." This is because it involves the act of splitting into equal parts or groups. A ratio is another common term that refers to division. For example, if you have 3 kids and 6 pieces of pizza, your ratio of pizza to kids is 6/3, or 6 divided by 3--everybody gets 2 pieces.

There are special names for the numbers involved in the process of division. The dividend is the quantity you begin with. The divisor is the number by which the dividend is to be divided. The quotient is your end result. Division problems may be written using the division sign, a fraction bar, or the division box.

Here is a more detailed look at the steps involved with division, as well as division practice problems that you can download and try on your own.

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### Other Functions Involving Multiplication and Division

What about when multiplying and dividing goes beyond just the basics? The articles below offer homework assistance for other mathematical operations that require the use of multiplication and/or division. Keep in mind that a solid understanding of multiplying and dividing basics is necessary before those skills can be applied to these other problem types.

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### Information for Parents

Parents will also benefit from having a guide to multiplication and division. Homework help is less daunting if you have had the opportunity to brush up on the targeted skills and have refreshed your basic knowledge of the topic. Here on Bright Hub Education, you will find articles about teaching or re-teaching basic multiplication and division at home as well as what keywords to watch for when solving multiplication and division problems. You will also find information on general topics, like what you can do at home to improve your child's math skills.

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### Practice Makes Perfect

Successfully completing multiplication and division problems is not difficult, but it does require a good amount of practice. Once the basic operation is understood, the goal should be speed. The more automatic the basic functions are for a student, the more effort he or she can place on solving complex problem-solving scenarios.

Do you still have questions about multiplication or division? Or, do you have tips and tricks to provide homework help for others that you would like to share? If so, be sure to visit our comments section below.

### References

• The information offered in this article is based on the author's extensive experience as a classroom teacher and a homeschooler.