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# Math Terms to Know for CBEST Exam Study Guide (page 2)

By LearningExpress Editors
LearningExpress, LLC
Updated on Mar 29, 2011

#### Zero

Zero is an integer that is neither positive nor negative.

#### Whole Numbers

Whole numbers include all positive integers, as well as zero {0, 1, 2, 3…}. Like integers, whole numbers do not include numbers with fractions or decimals.

#### Digit

A digit is a single number symbol. In the number 1,246, each of the four numerals is a digit. Six is the ones digit, 4 is the tens digit, 2 is the hundreds digit, and 1 is the thousands digit. Knowing place names for digits is important when you're asked to round to a certain digit. Rounding will be covered in Math 3: Rounding, Estimation, and Decimal Equivalents.

#### Real Numbers

Real numbers include all numbers: negative, positive, zero, fractions, decimals, most square roots, and so on. Usually, the numbers used on the CBEST will be real numbers, unless otherwise stated.

#### Variables

Variables are symbols, such as x and y, that are used to replace numbers. The symbol is usually a letter of the alphabet, although occasionally, other symbols are used. When a math problem asks you to "solve for y," that means to figure out what number the letter is replacing. At other times, the problem requires you to work with the letters as if they were numbers. Examples of both will be covered in the lesson on algebra on page 120.

#### Reciprocal

The reciprocal of a fraction is the fraction turned upside down. For example, the reciprocal of is , and vice versa. The reciprocal of an integer is 1 over the integer. For example, the reciprocal of 2 (or ) is , and vice versa. To get the reciprocal of a mixed number such as , first change the number to an improper fraction and then turn it over .

#### Numerator and Denominator

The numerator of a fraction is the number on top, and the denominator is the number on the bottom. The numerator of is 6 and the denominator is 7.

#### = and ≠

The symbol = is called an equal sign. It indicates that the values on both sides of the sign are equal to each other. For example, 7 = 2 + 5. A line drawn through an equal sign (≠) indicates that the values on either side are not equal: 8 ≠ 4 + 5.

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