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(3 pages total)

Page 3 - The Chinese Abacus


Can You Read an Abacus?

We put together a little test to see if you learned anything in the previous pages. Yes, you can go back to page 2 if you are completely bewildered at how to solve these questions, but next time you must read more carefully.

Click on the pictures to see each answer (after your best guess).


Exercise A: What value (number) does this setting below represent?
Abacus Test A


Exercise B: What value (number) does this setting below represent?
Abacus Test B


Exercise C: We have subtracted 305 from the above example... Now what value does this setting below represent?
Abacus Test C


Note: To subtract the 305 from 822 (the examples above), we first subtracted three 100 unit beads by pulling them away from the center, then we attempted to take away one 5 unit bead, but there were no 5 unit beads available, so we temporarily subtracted one 10 unit bead and added two 5 unit beads to compensate for this temporary condition. We were then able to subtract the one 5 unit bead to finish up our calculation. After this work, we simple read the answer from left to right.


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