Long Division

  • From: Jak Simmonds
  • Date: 23 October 1999
  • Subject: Long Division

Can you please explain long division. We have got to do it this year for the non-calculator paper at GCSE and our teacher expects us to know it but I have never done it before.

Maths Help suggests:

First - what is long division? It is just a string of instructions that allows us to divide a number by another number. The number we are dividing by usually is bigger than 12. The set of instructions are best shown by working through an example.

Suppose we wanted to divide 368 by 16. We would set this out as in Fig1.

We would say '16 into 3 doesn't go so carry the 3 forwards'

Next 16 into 36 goes in 2 times so we put a 2 above 6 as shown in Fig2. At this point we need to work out what the remainder is. This is done by multiplying 16 by 2 and subtracting the answer from 36. It is easier to write this down rather than do it mentally - and this is shown in Fig3

We now carry the remainder forward but do this by 'bringing down' the next digit so that it is beside the remainder. This is shown in Fig4.

The above process is repeated as we now have to divide 48 by 16. As this equals 3 we write the 3 above the 8 and multiply down then subtract to find the remainder. See Fig5.

As the remainder this time is 0 we can stop. So the answer to 368 divided by 16 is 23.



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