1.4.1 Order by Size

1.4.1 Order by Size

1.4.1 Order by Size


Putting numbers into order – isn’t this easy?

  • Yes! Until the numbers start including a mixture of fractionsdecimals and/or percentages
  • There could also be numbers written as powers/indices and (square/cube) roots included too
  • Then there is the use of mathematical inequality symbols too:
    •  not equal to
    • < less than
    • ≤ less than or equal to
    • > greater than
    • ≥ greater than or equal to

  • To arrange numbers in order they all need to be written in the same format
  • Usually, decimals are the easiest to compare
  • Before continuing make sure you can convert:
    • fractions to decimals
    • percentages to decimals

  • For more awkward cases you may need to use a calculator

How do I put decimals in order?

  • The easiest way is to compare the numbers digit by digit
    • Write the numbers one underneath the other, in neat, lined up columns
    • Reveal each number one digit at a time, from the left
      (ie highest place value first)
    • Make a note of the order as you go


  • STEP 1  Convert all values to decimals
  • STEP 2  Write as a neat column with digits lined up
  • STEP 3  Reveal one digit at a time and order them when possible
  • STEP 4  Write decimals in order
  • STEP 5  Write final answer using numbers in their original format

Exam Tip

Questions may use the words ascending or descending to describe the order.

Ascending means “upwards” – so increasing in size, ie. start with the smallest, finish with the largest. Descending means “downwards” – so decreasing in size,
ie. start with the largest, finish with the smallest.

Worked Example



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