Questions | 5 |

Topics | Absolute Value, PEMDAS, Percentages, Practice, Rational Numbers |

The absolute value is the positive magnitude of a particular number or variable and is indicated by two vertical lines: \(\left|-5\right| = 5\). In the case of a variable absolute value (\(\left|a\right| = 5\)) the value of a can be either positive or negative (a = -5 or a = 5).

Arithmetic operations must be performed in the following specific order:

**P**arentheses**E**xponents**M**ultiplication and**D**ivision (from L to R)**A**ddition and**S**ubtraction (from L to R)

The acronym **PEMDAS** can help remind you of the order.

Percentages are ratios of an amount compared to 100. The percent change of an old to new value is equal to 100% x \({ new - old \over old }\).

Many of the arithmetic reasoning problems on the ASVAB will be in the form of word problems that will test not only the concepts in this study guide but those in Math Knowledge as well. Practice these word problems to get comfortable with translating the text into math equations and then solving those equations.

A rational number (or fraction) is represented as a ratio between two integers, a and b, and has the form \({a \over b}\) where a is the **numerator** and b is the **denominator**. An **improper fraction** (\({5 \over 3} \)) has a numerator with a greater absolute value than the denominator and can be converted into a **mixed number** (\(1 {2 \over 3} \)) which has a whole number part and a fractional part.