Craig placed an order for 1700 highlighters for a special event hosted by his company. However, instead of placing a single order, he accidentally subscribed to receive 1700 highlighters every month for a year. As the purchase was non-refundable, Craig needs to know how many highlighters to expect so that he can pitch to his boss other ways to use them. He is running into a meeting and doesn’t have time to make a calculation. How can Craig estimate the number of highlighters the company will receive over the course of the year?

In this concept, you will learn how to estimate products and quotients of whole numbers using rounding.

### Estimating Multiplying and Dividing Whole Numbers

Just as you can estimate sums and differences, you can also estimate **products** and **quotients**.

Remember, a **product** is the answer to a multiplication problem. A **quotient** is the answer to a division problem.To estimate products and quotients, first round according to the following rules:

- If the number to the right of the digit you are rounding is less than 5, round down (keep the number being rounded as it is).
- If the number to the right of the digit you are rounding is greater than 5, round up.

First, round the first number to the nearest ten. Since the number in the ones place is less than 5, round down (the digit in the tens place is left as-is). 12 rounds to 10.

Next, round the second number to the nearest ten. Since the number in the ones place is a 9, which is more than 5, round the 1 from the tens place up to a 2. 19 rounds to 20.

Finally, multiply the rounded numbers by each other:

The estimate of the product is 200.

Here is an example of a division problem. Estimate the quotient.

First, round each number to the nearest ten. 32 rounds down to 30, since the number in the ones place is smaller than 5. 11 rounds down to 10, since the number in the ones place is smaller than 5.

Next find the quotient of the estimated values:

The estimated quotient is 3.

Sometimes, when working with division, you need to find a **compatible number **instead of a rounded number. A **compatible number** is one that is easily divisible.

Let’s look at estimating a problem that needs a compatible number.

Normally, you would round 2321 down to 2300, but 2300 is not easily divisible by 8. The nearest hundred easily divisible by 8 is 2400, because 24 divided by 8 is 3. This makes 2400 a compatible number.

The estimate is 300.

Remember to keep the following things in mind when estimating:

- The estimate must make sense for the problem.
- The estimate must be reasonable.
- The estimate must be close to the exact answer.
- If none of the above fit the estimate, use exact math to find the solution.

### Examples

#### Example 1

Earlier, you were given a problem about Craig and his non-refundable highlighters.

Craig needs to estimate the total of 1700 highlighters every month for 12 months.

First, round the numbers:

1700 rounds up to 2000

12 rounds down to 10

Next, use mental math.

The estimation is 20,000.

Craig can report in the meeting that he has a plan to make use of approximately 20,000 highlighters this year.

#### Example 2

Estimate the quotient.

First, round each number to the nearest hundred.

Then, estimate.

The estimated quotient is 3.

#### Example 3

Estimate the product.

First round 34 to the nearest ten. Since the number in the ones place is less than 5, round down (keep the 3 in the tens place). 34 rounds to 30.

Next round 18 to the nearest ten. Since the number in the ones place is greater than 5, round up. 18 rounds to 20.

Finally, multiply the rounded values:

The estimated product is 600.

#### Example 4

Estimate the product.

First, round 187 to the nearest hundred. Since the number in the tens place is greater than 5, round up. 187 rounds to 200.

Next, round 11 to the nearest 10. Since the number in the ones place is less than 5, round down. 11 rounds to 10.

Finally, multiply the rounded values:

The estimated product is 2000.

#### Example 5

Estimate the quotient.

First, note that 120 will divide evenly by 10, so just round the second number, leaving 120 as it is.

Next, since the number in the ones place of the second number is less than 5, round down. 11 rounds to 10.

Finally, use mental math to divide 120 by 10.

The estimated quotient is 12.

### Review

Estimate the following products and quotients.

### Review (Answers)

To see the Review answers, open this PDF file and look for section 1.6.