How can you tell if a number is prime? And what is the fastest way to tell if a number is a prime number?

A prime number is a number that has just two factors: the number 1 and itself. Therefore, when finding all the factors of a number if you end up with just two numbers then you have a prime number.

Using the same process as you would normally when finding factors for a given number, the same is applied when determining whether a number is prime. Once you’ve completed finding all the factors simply add up all the factors and if you see just the number 1 and your original number, then you likely have a prime number.

So first thing to find out is the factors of the given number, the number 3. Here is a step by step process to help you find out any factor of a number and then determine if it’s a prime number or not.

## Step By Step Prime Number Example

Here is the process if you want to find if a number is a prime number. I’ll use for this example the number 3.

To see if 3 is prime start at the first factor 2 – as all numbers have 1 as a factor.

As your at, or about to eclipse, the square root of 3 there’s no need to increment any further.

Therefore, as there have been no other factors found, the number 3
**
is
**
a prime number.

As you can see from the step by step guide it’s exactly the same process when finding factors of a number, however, you can short-circuit the process by stopping whenever you find a factor that isn’t 1 or the original number itself.

## Summary

A prime number is a number that has only 2 factors: the number 1 and itself.

The number 3
**
is
**
a prime number.