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Maths Tutorials: How to divide fractions without a calculator

Dividing fractions by hand (or with your head) is one of those tasks that seem impossible, unless you have actually learnt how to go about it. Here then is a crash course in dividing fractions for those of you who didn't spend to much attention to what your teacher was rattling on about.

The key is to turn the division into a multiplication of the second fraction's reciprocal, meaning you literally turn it on its head. The fractions 5/8 for instance turns into 8/5. Note that this only needs to be done with the second fraction. The first can stay as it is. Here is an example:

1/3 ÷ 5/8 = 1/3 X 8/5

This of course means that 1/3 times 8/5 is equal to:

(1 X 8)/(3 X 5)

Resulting in 8/15. This is the end result, as it can not be displayed as a smaller fraction.

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