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Division Questions That Will Test Your Elementary School Students

Division questions will appear throughout elementary school as division is one of the four mathematical operations- addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Children will encounter all four operations from as early as third grade. However, concepts of division such as sharing are exposed to children as early as kindergarten.

From experience, children seem to find division the trickiest to grasp. Here are some questions to use for division practice with children, from basic division to tricky word problems to challenge your student’s division skills, plus answer keys and expert guidance on how to solve them.

What are division questions?

Division questions can be standard arithmetic (e.g. 25 ÷ 5 or 3,426 ÷ 2) or can be presented as division word problems which present a math problem in a ‘real-life’ context.

In this case of division, this will involve sharing or equal grouping and may require children to interpret the remainders appropriately, either by rounding up or down.


How to solve division questions

In a division problem:

  • The amount being divided is called the dividend
  • Whatever the dividend is being divided by is called the divisor;
  • The answer is called the quotient.

Division questions may be solvable mentally, perhaps by recalling multiplication facts or place value knowledge to divide into equal groups. For example:

a) Mrs. Patel has 16 candies to share between 4 children. How many should each child get?

16 candies ÷ 4 = 4 candies each. Children should be able to use their multiplication and division fact families to solve this.

b) A $283 bill at a restaurant has to be split between 10 people. How much should each person pay?

$283 ÷ 10 = $28.30 each. Children should be able to use their place value knowledge for this.

Other division questions may require the use of a formal written method, such as the partial product method.

c) A length of ribbon measures 28.8cm. It is cut into 6 equal pieces. How long is each piece?

28.8cm ÷ 6 = 4.8cm

division question answer using short division


Division questions elementary

Division questions will appear throughout elementary school. However, as the formal method of division (commonly known as the partial product method) isn’t introduced until upper elementary school, the division questions students will encounter will reflect this. 

In 3rd grade, students will fluently divide within 100 relating division to their multiplication facts. By 4th grade, students will divide up to four-digit whole number dividends by one-digit divisors using strategies based on place value, such as partial quotients, area models, and arrays.

Students in 4th grade should also work with division of whole numbers involving remainders. By 5th grade, students will divide up to four-digit whole number dividends by two-digit divisors using strategies based on place value.

Students at this level will also begin to divide decimals to the hundredths place with up to four-digit dividends and two-digit divisors using similar strategies. The standard algorithm for division (also known as long division) is introduced at different times based on what standards your state follows.

Common Core states that students should fluently divide multi-digit numbers using the standard algorithm in 6th grade. TEKS states that students start to use the standard algorithm in 4th grade.

See below the table, which has been adapted from the Common Core and aligns with TEKS as well, that details the development of skills in division throughout elementary school.

3rd Grade
  • Interpret whole-number quotients of whole numbers as number of shares or number groups
  • Use division within 100 to solve word problems
  • Determine the unknown whole number in a multiplication or division equation relating three whole numbers
  • Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide
  • Understand division as an unknown-factor problem
  • Fluently multiply and divide within 100 using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division
4th Grade
  • Multiply or divide to solve word problems involving multiplicative comparison and multistep word problems
  • Find whole-number quotients and remainders with up to four-digit dividends and one-digit divisors, using strategies based on place value, the properties of operations, and/or the relationship between multiplication and division; illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models
  • Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money
  • Apply the area formula for rectangles, including cases where the area and a side length is given in order to find an unknown side length
  • *TEKS only: Use the standard algorithm to divide up to four-digit dividends by one-digit divisors
5th Grade
  • Evaluate expressions involving a combination of numbers, parentheses, brackets, or braces, and any of the four operations
  • Find whole-number quotients of whole numbers with up to four-digit dividends and two-digit divisors, using strategies based on place value, the properties of operations, and/or the relationship between multiplication and division; illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models
  • Add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals to hundredths, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value or properties of operations; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used
  • Interpret a fraction as division of the numerator by the denominator; solve word problems involving division of whole numbers leading to answers in the form of fractions or mixed numbers
  • Understand what it means to take a fraction of a whole number
  • Apply and extend previous understandings of division to divide unit fractions by whole numbers and whole numbers by unit fractions
  • Convert among different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system
  • Apply the formula for volume of rectangular prisms, including cases where the volume and two side lengths are given in order to find an unknown side length
  • TEKS only: Use the standard algorithm to divide up to four-digit dividends by two-digit divisors
6th Grade
  • Fluently divide multi-digit numbers using the standard algorithm
  • Understand the concept of a unit rate
  • Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division to divide fractions by fractions
  • Find the greatest common factor of two whole numbers less than or equal to 100 and the least common multiple of two whole numbers less than or equal to 12
  • Apply the properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions

If you’re looking for more information on how to teach division or how to fill student’s division knowledge gaps using interventions, read our articles written by math specialists.

tsl lesson slide on long division
Example of a Third Space Learning tuition slide on the partial quotient method


Division questions for 3rd grade

1. 75 children take part in a game. There are 5 children on each team. How many teams are there altogether?

Answer: 45 children ÷ 5 = 9 teams

2. David wants to decorate cakes. Each cake will have 3 cherries. David has 18 cherries. How many cakes can he decorate?

Answer: 18 cherries ÷ 3 = 6 cakes

3. John needs 48 balloons. The store sells balloons in packs of 6. How many packs does he need to buy?

Answer: 48 balloons ÷ 6 = 8 packs 


Division questions for 4th grade

1. Riley works at an apple orchard and is putting 496 apples into bags. Each bag holds 4 apples. How many bags of apples can she make?

Answer: 496 apples ÷ 4 = 124 bags of apples

2. Bryan made $4,932 selling albums at a concert. Each album was sold for $9. How many albums did he sell?

Answer: $4,932 ÷ 9 = 548 albums

3. Sam wants to walk a long distance, for charity, over 6 weekends. The total distance Sam wants to walk is 293km. Approximately how far should he walk each weekend?

Answer: 293km ÷ 6 = 48r5 km. We can round this up to 49km – if he walks 49km each weekend he will definitely meet his target!


Division questions for 5th grade

1. I have 1 ½  liters of juice. I need to share it all equally between 6 glasses. How many milliliters of juice should I pour into each glass?

Answer: 1 ½ liters = 1,500ml. 1,500ml ÷ 6 = 250ml of juice in each glass

2. A school fair raises $5,168. The school keeps ¼ of the money for new playground equipment. It gives the rest to charity. How much money does it give to charity?

Answer: $5,168 ÷ 4 = $1,292 kept by the school. They give the rest to charity, which is $5,168 – $1,292 = $3,876 to charity

3. A charity organization raised $4,743 at their monthly fundraiser. They share this equally amongst their 12 branches. How much does each branch get?

Answer: $4743 ÷ 12 = $395.2


Division Questions for 6th grade

1. 8827 ÷ 97

Answer: 91. The multiples here could be listed more quickly (than by using repeated addition or partitioning) by adding 100 and subtracting 3 each time.

6th grade working division question

2. 3 pineapples cost the same as 2 mangoes. One mango costs $1.35. How much does one pineapple cost? 

Answer: 2 mangoes = $1.35 x 2 = $2.70 (the same as 3 pineapples). $2.70 ÷ 3 = 90¢, which is the cost of 1 pineapple.

3. Amina posts three large letters. The postage costs the same for each letter. She pays with a $20 note. Her change is $14.96. What is the cost of posting one letter?

Answer: $20 – $14.96 = $5.04 (the cost of three letters). $5.04 ÷ 3 = $1.68, which is the cost of one letter.


Simple division questions

1. 8 meters of rope is cut into 4 equal lengths to make jump ropes. How long is each jump rope?

Answer: 8m ÷ 4 = 2m

2. Circle two numbers which divide by 5 with no remainder: 9, 50, 12, 35, 31, 57

Answer: 50 and 35 – both are multiples of 5 as they end in either a 0 or 5

3. 28 children go swimming in groups of 4. How many groups will there be?

Answer: 28 children ÷ 4 = 7 groups


Difficult division questions 

1. 999 will divide exactly by 37. There is no remainder.

a) Write down the remainder when 1000 is divided by 37.

b) Write down the remainder when 998 is divided by 37.

c) Write down a multiple of 37 that is greater than 1,000.

Answers:

a) As 1,000 is only 1 more than 999, the remainder will be 1.

b) As 998 is only 1 less than 999, the remainder will be 1 less than the divisor (37), so the remainder is 36.

c) As 999 is a multiple of 37, if we add 37 we will get another multiple of 37. We can work out that 999 + 37 = 1,036, which is a multiple of 37 greater than 1,000

2. Write the missing number: 12.5 ÷ ___ = 7.5 ÷ 1.5

Answer: 7.5 ÷ 1.5 = 5 – we can figure this out by counting in multiples of 1.5 until we reach 7.5 (5 of 1.5 is 7.5). We could also make each number 10 times bigger to make it ‘easier’ to solve as the answer will be the same: 75 ÷ 15 = 5.

We are now left with 12.5 ÷ ___ = 5. When the divisor is missing, we can divide the dividend by the quotient instead to reach the answer. 12.5 ÷ 5 = 2.5, so the missing number is 2.5.

3. A bus company has 62 buses. On average, each bus travels 19 miles on a gallon of fuel and goes 284 miles each day. The bus company says it needs about 900 gallons of fuel every day. Make an estimate to show whether what the company says is reasonable.

Answer: To make an estimate, we could round 19 miles to 20 and 284 miles to 280. 280 miles per day ÷ 20 miles per gallon = 14 gallons per bus per day.

For approximately 60 buses (we’ve rounded 62 to 60), this would be 14 x 60, which would be 840 gallons. This is close to 900 gallons so the company is fairly accurate.

Looking for more resources to support your teaching of division? See our blog on printable division worksheets.

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The content in this article was originally written by primary school teacher Sophie Bartlett and has since been revised and adapted for US schools by elementary math teacher Jaclyn Wassell.

Sophie Bartlett
Sophie Bartlett
Year 6 Teacher
Sophie teaches mixed age classes at a small school in central England. She is a self confessed grammar pedant and number nerd so we've welcomed her as a regular author and editor for Third Space Learning.
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