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How to Estimate Products

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  • 0:04 Estimating Products
  • 0:24 Rounding
  • 1:23 Multiplying With Zeroes
  • 2:00 Estimating Products
  • 3:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dana Sparkman
In multiplication problems, sometimes we want to get an answer that is 'close enough,' not exact. In this lesson, you will learn how to estimate products to get a 'close enough' answer.

Estimating Products

Multiplication is all about finding the product, or answer to a multiplication problem. But sometimes we want to get an answer that's 'close enough' and not exact. We can simply estimate in these cases.

There are two skills needed for estimating products: rounding and multiplying with zeroes. Let's take a closer look at these skills now.

Rounding

When we round, we adjust numbers so that they're easier to use when calculating. We can round to the nearest ten, the nearest hundred, and so on. When rounding to the nearest ten, for example, look at the number to the right of the tens place. If it's 5 or greater, raise the number in the tens place by one digit, and change the number in the ones place to zero. If it's less than 5, leave the number in the tens place as it is, and change the number in the ones place to zero.

Take the number 78, for example. The number to the right of the tens place is 8. Because 8 is greater than 5, raise the number in the tens place (7) up to 8, and change the number in the ones place to zero. So, 78 rounds to 80.

How about the number 437? Here, we will round to the nearest hundred. Look at the number to the right of the hundreds place (in this case, 3). Because 3 is less than 5, keep the number in the hundreds place at 4, and change the other digits to zeroes. So, 437 rounds to 400.

Multiplying With Zeroes

To multiply numbers with zeroes, first multiply the non-zero numbers together. Then, write the number of zeroes you see in the problem on the end of the answer.

Example 1: 80 x 30

Multiply the non-zero numbers: 8 x 3 = 24

Write the number of zeroes you see on the end of the answer. Here, there are two zeroes, so the answer becomes 2,400.

Example 2: 40 x 700

Multiply the non-zero numbers: 4 x 7 = 28

Write the number of zeroes you see on the end of the answer. Here, there are three zeroes, so the answer becomes 28,000.

Estimating Products

Okay, now let's try some more mixes of numbers being multiplied. Remember these steps:

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