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Rules of Division on Abacus

Let us say, a/b = c. So, the a = dividend; b = divisor, c = quotient

We will use the following example – 184 ÷ 2 =

1. Set “a” on the abacus. To do this, count the number of digits in “a” minus 1 for the sign of division minus the number of digits in “b”.

a. If the answer is “1” set the “a” on the abacus starting from the rod of ones

b. If the answer is “0” set the “a” on the abacus starting from the rod 0, which is on the right of the rod of the ones

c. If the answer is “2” set the “a” on the abacus starting from the

rod, which is on the left of the rod of the

rod 10 th or the 2 nd ones

In our example (184 ÷ 2) – 3-1-1 = 1. So, we’ll set 184 on the abacus starting from the rod of 1. We will call this the question side of the abacus

2. Compare the left most digit of the Dividend (we’ll call it LHS) with the Divisor (we’ll call it RHS). If the –

a. LHS < RHS, do not skip the rod, meaning start the answer from the rod immediately next to where you set “a” on the abacus

b. LHS >= RHS, skip the rod, meaning start the answer by skipping the rod next to where you set “a” on the abacus

In our example, LHS = 1, RHS = 2. So, we need to apply rule 2.a

i.e. we

do not skip the rod and we’ll start the answer from the rod of the 10 th

3. Start the division –

a. Always consider the first two digits of the “Divisor” or the question side.

b. Find the number that you need to multiply with divisor so that you can get closet or equal to the first two digits of the divisor

c. Set that number on the abacus starting from the rod that you decided in rule 2

d. Clear the number from question side

e. Do step b, c, and, d to get the complete answer or quotient

In our example –

a. The first two digits are 18

b. So, we need to multiply 2 with 9 to be equal to 18

c. Set the abacus to 9 on the 10 th rod

d. Clear 18 from the question side

e. Repeat steps a, b, and c of the 3 rd rule for the “4” left on the question side. Since 2X2= 4, set the abacus to 2 on the rod of ones and clear the 4 from the question side. The answer is 92.

Now, let us use the same rules in case of a 2 Digit ÷ 1 Digit e.g. 84 ÷ 2

1. 2-1-1 = 0. So, you will set 84 on the abacus starting from the rod of the 0

2. Since 8>2, you will skip the rod next to where to set 84 on the abacus i.e. you will skip the rod of the ones and start the answer from the rod the tens

3. Start the division but in case of the 2 digit number always assume a zero before the tenth digit to make it a 3 digit

number. So, in this case assume it is “084” and then start the division

a. Since 2X4=08, set the 4 on the tenth rod and clear 8 from the question side

b. Since 2X2 = 04, set the 2 on the ones rod and the clear 4 from the question side