How to Multiply & Divide Integers

By Vaughnlea Leonard

An integer is any negative or positive natural number including zero. Natural numbers, starting with 1, are generated by adding 1 or more to any succession of numerical value or digits. It is very easy to multiply and divide integers, but be sure to be careful. Simple mistakes can be avoided provided you perform the following steps.

Memorize multiplication tables. Students are generally taught to memorize multiplication tables up to 12. Try to memorize as many sets as you can beyond that. Learning your multiplication tables will also help with dividing integers. Dividing is considered the reverse of multiplication.

Identify the basic numbers you will need to work with. This may seem like a easy, but it may be difficult to discern how to multiply and divide integers when faced with a word problem, for example.

Determine your grouping. Multiplication and division generally works by grouping numbers rather than adding them. The same can be said of division in contrast to subtraction. Think of it as a short cut. Imagine you have a very long addition problem. Let's say you need to add ten sets (or groups) of three: 3+3+3+3+3+3+3+3+3+3=30. You can reduce the amount of work you need to perform by changing the problem to this: 3x10=30. Ten is your grouping.

Determine your process. Pick whether you need to multiply or divide integers. If you have a word problem and the process is not clear to you, look for keywords in the sentences. To effectively multiply integers, notice words like times, by or of. In division, look for “per,” or “out of,” and “ratio.” Perform your processes.

Check your answers. The easiest way to check your answers is to the perform the reverse of the process you started with. 3x10=30, is a multiplication problem, of course. Make it a division problem by doing this: 30/10=3 or 30/3=10.

About the Author

Vaughnlea Leonard started her professional writing and editing career in 2005. Her work has appeared in "Press Journal," "Atlantic Publishing Company" and "Hometown News and Florida Today." A former military police enlistee and Florida certified educator, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Central Florida.