Rules for Determining Missing Numbers in Math Problems

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If you're trying to determine missing numbers in math there are a few key rules that you're going to want to be aware of. Learn the rules for determining missing numbers in math with help from an experienced mathematics educator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Elementary Math
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Marija. I'm a mathematician and today I'm going to tell you the rules for determining missing numbers in math. So the first thing you want to do is find a pattern. So one, find a pattern and once you find that pattern you're going to have to apply that pattern to find the next number. So find the pattern and then apply the pattern. That's the only two things you have to remember. So we're going to go ahead and do an example. Let's say I have a sequence like 1/3, 2/6, 4/12 and I'm asked to find the missing number or the following number in this sequence. So first we have to find the pattern. How did I get from 1 to 2 and from 3 to 6 and what is the same rule that I could apply to get from 2 to 4 and 6 to 12? Well I think about it and I think about my 4 operations, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and I realize that I multiplied by 2 and I multiplied by 2 here and I did the same thing in the denominator. So once you find your pattern, now all you have to do is apply it to the last number that you were given to find the next one. So we're going to go ahead and multiply by 2 in our numerator and multiply by 2 in our denominator and when we do that we know that the following number in this pattern is going to be 8/24. So to find the missing number in a math pattern, you just have to find the pattern and then apply it. My name is Marija and I just showed you the rules for finding a missing number in a math problem.

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