How to Write Numbers in Standard Form

By Kat Walcott; Updated April 25, 2017
Convert numbers to standard form, using multiplication or addition.

Standard form refers to the regular way you write out a number, such as 4,300, as opposed to scientific notation, which is 4.3 x 10^3, or in expanded form, such as 4,000 + 300. You can convert numbers large and small to standard form in a few steps.

Standard Form With Large Numbers

To convert a number from scientific notation to standard form, consider 1.5625 x 10^4. First, focus on the exponential number, which is 10^4. Multiply the base number, which is 10, by itself the number of times indicated by the exponent, which is four. You would do that like this:

10 x 10 x 10 x 10 = 10, 000

Plug the product -- which is 10,000 -- into the original equation to get this:

1.5625 x 10,000 = 15, 625

Therefore, the standard form of this number is 15,625.

For a number in expanded form, convert the number, using basic addition. For example, consider the expanded number 10,000 + 2000 + 100 + 10 + 9. Add up these numbers to get the standard form. Your equation would look like this:

10,000 + 2,000 + 100 + 10 + 9 = 12,119

Therefore, the standard form of the number is 12,119.

Standard Form With Small Numbers

Small numbers, such as those less than one, can also be converted to standard form. For example, consider the scientific notation 5 x 10^-2. Start with 10^-2, and note that the exponent is negative, which in this case, is negative two. This indicates that the number will be a decimal, with the decimal point moving twice to the left of the base number, which in this case, is 10. This would give you 0.01. Your equation will look like this:

10^2-1 = 0.01

Plug in this value, which, in this case is 0.01, into your original equation to get this:

5 x 0.01 = 0.05

Therefore, the standard form of this number is 0.05.

Convert small numbers presented in expanded form, such as 0.0003 + 0.001 + 0.02 by adding like this:

0.0003 + 0.001 + 0.02 = 0.0213

Therefore, 0.0213 is the standard form of this number.

About the Author

Based in Gatineau, Canada, Kat Walcott has been writing entertainment and informative articles since 2008. Her work has appeared in major publications including Her Campus, Equals6 and Uppercase. She holds an honors diploma in social science from Heritage College and is currently majoring in communication studies and minoring in sexuality studies.