How to Find Quotients

Image of father and son doing a math problem.
••• Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

A quotient is the result of dividing one number, known as the dividend, by another, called the divisor. Put most simply, the quotient is the answer to a division problem. If you can remember to “drive my super cool buggy,” finding quotients is simple.

    Divide the divisor into the dividend; this is the D for “drive” in the mnemonic. Estimate how many sets you make from the dividend, each continuing the divisor. Begin by estimating for just the first digit or two. For example, in the equation 138 divided by 3, estimate how many sets of three you can make from 13. Write that number above the line of the bracket or after the equals sign, depending on how you’ve formatted the problem. In this case, you would write four.

    Multiply the estimate times the divisor; now you’ve used the M for “my.” To continue the example, you will now multiply 4 x 3. Write the number -- this time, it’s 12 -- under the first numbers of the dividend.

    Subtract the product from the first numbers of the dividend, to complete the S, or “super,” step of the mnemonic. In the example, you will answer 13-12. Write the result under the subtraction problem.

    Compare the number you just wrote to the divisor -- C for “cool.” This number should be less than the divisor. If it is, you are ready for the next step. If it isn’t, you need to go back to the estimating step and choose a larger number -- usually just one more set -- before repeating the multiply, subtract and compare steps.

    Bring down the next digit in the dividend to complete the B for “buggy” in the mnemonic. In the example, you would bring down the eight, writing it next to the one you got when you subtracted.

    Repeat the steps until you’ve used all of the digits in the dividend. If you still have not reached zero in your subtracting, you have a remainder, which means that the dividend cannot be divided evenly into sets the size of the divisor.


    • You can express the remainder in several ways. One is to write the number after the initial r., for remainder. Another is to write it as a fraction, with the remainder as the numerator, or top number, and the divisor as the denominator, or bottom number.


    • Don't skip the comparing step, or you might get confused on the next "divide."

Related Articles

How to Divide Decimals for 5th Grade
Basic Mathematics Skills
How to Break Down a Division Problem
A List of Basic Math Facts
The Scaffold Method of Long Division
How to Order Decimals From Least to Greatest
How to Round to the Underlined Place Value Position
What Is Math Regrouping?
How to Do Long Division Math
How to Estimate Division Problems
How to Divide With Two-Digit Divisors
How to Teach Kids to Add & Subtract
How to Check Multiplication
How to Get the Average of Decimals
How to Calculate the Grade Out of 33 Questions
How to Divide a Three Digit Number
How to Help with Math Homework: The Rounding Poem
How Can I Add Repeating Decimals?
This Is Why It's So Tough to Get a Perfect March Madness...
Three Methods of Estimating Math Problems

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!