This is probably a very basic question but I have the following circuit, I am not sure what is in series and what is in parallel or if they are all in parallel, initially I thought R2 and R3 were in series and then used the sum of their resistances with R1 to calculate the equivalent resistance, that seems to be off based on some circuit simulation software I am using so I would appreciate if somebody could explain how to calculate the Rt and the logic behind it.



simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Come on, just redraw the circuit with R2, R3 vertical... \$\endgroup\$
    – Eugene Sh.
    Jan 6, 2016 at 16:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EugeneSh., I have done very little with circuits, if it were obvious for me I would not be asking question. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 6, 2016 at 16:10

2 Answers 2


An easy thing for the beginner to do, is color the nodes.

Circuit with colored nodes

Now, any components that have the same color (node) on each end are in parallel. So, R2 and R3 have green and purple on each end (respectively) so they are in parallel.


I highly recommend to re-draw the circuit. Take a pencil, paper and re-draw the circuit. Trust me it will help.

enter image description here

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Pro tip: next time use the built in schematic editor: CTRL+M \$\endgroup\$
    – marco-a
    Jan 6, 2016 at 18:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Julio, its only easy to redraw it when its already obvious whether each part is in series or parallel. \$\endgroup\$
    – Octopus
    Jan 6, 2016 at 23:12

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