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Find the area of a square in square inches whose side is 1.3 ft?

I keep getting this one wrong I would think that 1.3 feet is 16 inches and then multiply that by that by sixteen but that is not the correct answer.

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$1.3$ feet is not $16$ inches. – Chris Eagle May 5 '12 at 19:22
$1.3$ feet is $1.3\cdot 12=15.6$ inches. – Brian M. Scott May 5 '12 at 19:22

One thing that can help when doing unit conversions is properly setting up your fractions. In this case, you need $$ \frac{1.3\text{ ft}}{1}\times \frac{12\text{ in}}{1\text{ ft}} = 15.6\text{ in} $$ Now it's clear from the fractions that you have to multiply 1.3 by 12 to convert feet to inches. The area of a square is $s^2$ where $s$ is the length of a side, so the area is $(15.6)^2=243.36$ square inches (don't forget the units).

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