Questions | 5 |

Topics | Absolute Value, Multiplying & Dividing Radicals, Practice, Simplifying Radicals |

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).

To multiply or divide radicals, multiply or divide the coefficients and radicands separately: \(x\sqrt{a} \times y\sqrt{b} = xy\sqrt{ab}\) and \({x\sqrt{a} \over y\sqrt{b}} = {x \over y}\sqrt{a \over b}\)

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.

The radicand of a simplified radical has no perfect square factors. A **perfect square** is the product of a number multiplied by itself (squared). To simplify a radical, factor out the perfect squares by recognizing that \(\sqrt{a^2} = a\). For example, \(\sqrt{64} = \sqrt{16 \times 4} = \sqrt{4^2 \times 2^2} = 4 \times 2 = 8\).