A perfect square is a number that can be expressed as the product of two equal integers.
The only way to accurately calculate if a number is a perfect square is to find the factors. Before we go through the trouble of finding the factors, there is a quick trick you can use to help determine if you need even need to do the extra work.
Try these steps first:
Let's try it...
What is the last number of 542,158? It is this number: 542158. The answer is 8. Is 8 in the list of numbers that are never perfect squares (2, 3, 7 or 8)?
Answer: YES, 8 is in the list of numbers that are never perfect squares. The number 542,158 is NOT a perfect square and we can stop here as there is not need to complete the rest of the steps.