How do I simplify a surd?

  • Google+ icon
  • LinkedIn icon
  • 1213 views

To simplify a surd, remember that

sqrt(a*b) = sqrt(a)*sqrt(b)

If either a or b are square numbers, you can simply write its square root. Hence, to simplify a surd, you must look for any factors of the number inside the square root that are sqaure numbers.

For example, 

sqrt(20) = sqrt(4*5) = sqrt(4)*sqrt(5)

sqrt(4) = 2 therefore sqrt(20) = 2sqrt(5)

Hayden M. A Level Further Mathematics  tutor, GCSE Maths tutor, A Lev...

About the author

is an online GCSE Maths tutor with MyTutor studying at Warwick University

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist.

95% of our customers rate us

Browse tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok