Simple Counting

Just Counting?

The subject of counting, AKA combinations and permutations, can get quite complex involving some funky looking formulas that don't even appear on the formula sheet, scaring some students. But, DON'T WORRY, the examples that show up on the GED are simple and can be figured out using basic arithmetic!

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Counting the total number of possible outcomes isn't as challenging as some students make it out to be. Quite simply you just multiply by the number of choices each time you make a choice. Consider the following example:

  • For lunch, each student at Mocklin Elementary can choose between a salad, a sandwich, or hot lunch. They can also choose whole milk, skim milk, chocolate milk, or apple juice to drink. Finally, they chose whether they want fruit or yogurt as a side. How many possible lunch combinations are there if a student chooses one lunch option, one drink, and one side?

    • First choice: salad, sandwich, or hot lunch. That's 3 options.

    • Next choice: whole milk, skim milk, chocolate milk, or apple juice. That's 4 options.

    • Next choice: fruit or yogurt. That's 2 choices.

    • Now simply multiply those numbers of choices together: 3 x 4 x 2

    • There are 24 possible lunch combinations at Mocklin Elementary.

Can it get any trickier than that? Just a bit, but you'll find plenty of worked examples in the videos below!

Watch the Virtual GED Class video below for a complete explanation and tons of worked example problems.


Simple Counting Beginner

Straightforward counting problem involving making a series of choices.

Simple Counting Problems Experienced

Mixed practice with counting word problems (combinations and permutations with and without replacement).



Beginning 1

Beginning 2

Experienced 1