Squaring numbers and finding square roots of numbers are common mathematical tasks that you are likely to find in math classrooms from upper elementary school on through college. A square is a number times itself. Another way of stating this is a number raised to the second power. Finding a square root is the opposite of squaring a number. That is, finding a square root is figuring out which number times itself equals a certain number.

## Squaring a Number

Enter a number into your calculator.

Press the times button ("x" or "*").

Key in the same number again. For instance, if you are squaring the number 5, you would enter "5," "x" "5."

## Sciencing Video Vault

Press the equal button (=) to view your answer. In this example, the answer would be 25.

## Finding a Square Root

Enter a number into your calculator.

Press the square root function (√ ). You may or may not have to press the equal sign to view your answer. For instance, if you keyed in the number 81 followed by the square root sign, your answer would be 9 (because 9 x 9 = 81).

Guess a square root and test it yourself if your calculator doesn't have a square root button. For instance, if you need to know the square root of 50, think about what number squared is close to 50. The number 7 times itself equals 49. Therefore, you could guess 7.1. If you enter 7.1 x 7.1, you would get the answer 50.41. You could reason that the answer must be less than 7.1, so you could try 7.05 squared, which equals 49.70. Continue narrowing down your guesses until you arrive at the correct answer. In this example, the correct answer would be 7.071.