What is a Standard Algorithm in Math? - Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Standard Algorithm for Division

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 What Is an Algorithm?
  • 1:24 Examples: Addition &…
  • 2:40 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kathleen Laib

I have been a teacher for 10 years with eight of those years teaching 4th grade. I have a master's of Ed and an ELL Endorsement.

This lesson will define a standard algorithm, as well as show examples of the standard algorithms for addition and multiplication. If you follow the steps correctly, it's as easy as baking a cake!

What Is an Algorithm?

A standard algorithm is a step-by-step way to solve a problem. Here we are going to focus on what a standard algorithm is for basic multi-digit math, although there are many, many algorithms to solve all kinds of different problems.

First, let's take it out of math and put it to use for something simple, like baking a cake. Baking a cake is not really an algorithm, but it is a step-by-step system to solve a problem: not having cake. That's a pretty big problem! There are certain steps that you need to follow to have your cake come out of the oven just right, just like there are steps to solve math problems. So the step-by-step way to bake a cake is: get your ingredients, mix your ingredients in the right order and by measuring them carefully, put the cake mix into a pan, then bake it for a set amount of time, let it cool, then frost it, pretty simple.

But what happens if you do the steps out of order? If you put your ingredients in the bowl to mix them, then try to measure them, you might not get the right amount in the mix. If you bake all the ingredients before you mix them, they won't come together properly, and they would be really hot when you tried to put them in the bowl to mix. Following each step in the process is really important if you want your cake to come out right. It is exactly the same for a standard algorithm in math.

The nice thing about the standard algorithms for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division is that you are basically doing the same step over and over with each place value column in the problem.

Examples: Addition & Multiplication

Example of standard algorithm for addition

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account