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Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic the learner should be able to:

  1. Find squares of numbers by multiplication
  2. Find squares from tables
  3. Find square root by factor method
  4. Find square root from tables.


  1. Squares by multiplication
  2. Squares from tables
  3. Square roots by factorization
  4. Square roots from tables.



The square of a number is simply the umber multiplied by itself once. For example the square of 15 is 225.That is 15 x 15 = 225.

Square from tables

The squares of numbers can be read directly from table of squares. This tables give only approximate values of the squares to 4 figures. The squares of numbers from 1.000 to 9.999 can be read directly from the tables.

The use of tables is illustrated below


Find the square of:

a.) 4.25

b.) 42.5

c.) 0.425




  1. To read the square of 4.25, look for 4.2 down the column headed x. Move to the right along this row, up to where it intersects with the column headed 5.The number in this position is the square of 4.25

So 4.2 = 18.06 to 4 figures

  1. The square of 4.25 lies between 4 and 5 between 1600 and 2500.

4= (


= 18.06 x 100

= 1806

  1. 0.4= (


=18.06 x 1/100

= 0.1806


The square tables have extra columns labeled 1 to 9 to the right of the thick line. The numbers under these columns are called mean differences. To find 3.162, read 3.16 to get 9.986.Then read the number in the position where the row containing 9.986 intersects with the differences column headed 2.The difference is 13 and this should be added to the last digits of 9.986


+ 13


56.129 has 5 significant figures and in order to use 4 figures tables, we must first round it off to four figures.

56.129 = 56.13 to 4 figures

= (5.613 x

= 31.50 x

= 3150


Square Roots

Square roots are the opposite of squares. For example 5 x 5 = 25, we say that 5 is a square root of 25.

Any positive number has two square roots, one positive and the other negative .The symbol for the square root of a number is.

A number whose square root is an integer is called a perfect square. For example 1, 4,9,25 and 36 are perfect squares.

Square roots by Factorization.

The square root of a number can also be obtained using factorization method.


Find the square root of 81 by factorization method.


81 = (Find the prime factor of 81)

= (3×3) (3 x 3) (Group the prime factors into two identical numbers)

= 3 x 3 (Out of the two identical prime factors, choose one and find their product)

= 9


Pair the prime factors into two identical numbers. For every pair, pick only one number then obtain the product.


Find by factorization.



= 2 x 3 x 7

= 42


Find by factorization



= 3 x 7



Square Root from tables

Square roots of numbers from 1.0 to 99.99 are given in the tables and can be read directly.


Use tables to find the square root of:

  1. 1.86 b.) 42.57 c.) 359 d.) 0.8236


  1. To read the square root of 1.86, look for 1.8 in the column headed x, move to the right along this row to where it intersects with the column headed 6.The number in this position is the square root of 1.86.Thus =1.364 to 4 figures.
  2. Look for 42 in the column headed x and move along the row containing 42 to where it intersects with the column headed 5.Read the number in this position, which is 6.519. The difference for 7 from the difference column along this row is 6.The difference is added to 6.519 as shown below:


+ 0.006


Thus, to 4 figures.

For any number outside this range, it is necessary to first express it as the product of a number in this range and an even power of 10.

  1. 359 = 3.59 x


    = 1.895 x 10

    = 18.95 (four figures)

  2. 0.8236 = 82.36 x


= (9.072 + 0.004) x

= 0.9076 (4 figures)

End of topic


Did you understand everything?

If not ask a teacher, friends or anybody and make sure you understand before going to sleep!


Past KCSE Questions on the topic

  1. Evaluate without using tables or calculators

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  1. Evaluate using reciprocals, square and square root tables only.

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  1. Using a calculator, evaluate  Image From  

 (Show your working at each stage)


  1. Use tables of reciprocals and square roots to evaluate

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5.) Use tables to find;

 a) I) 4.9782

  ii) The reciprocal of 31.65

 b) Hence evaluate to 4.S.F the value of


6.) Use tables of squares, square roots and reciprocals to evaluate correct to 4 S.Image From EcoleBooks.comImage From




Image From EcoleBooks.com7.  Without using mathematical tables or calculator, evaluate: 153 x 1.8 giving your answer in standard form 0.68 x 0.32

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EcoleBooks | Mathematics Form 1-4 : CHAPTER NINE - SQUARE AND SQURE ROOTS


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