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5 Tricks for Mathematics
Here are 5 fast math strategies students (and adults!) can use to do math in their heads. Once these strategies are mastered, students should be able to accurately and confidently solve math problems that they once feared solving.
1. Adding large numbers
Adding large numbers just in your head can be difficult. This method shows how to simplify this process by making all the numbers a multiple of 10.
Here is an example: 644 + 238
While these numbers are hard to contend with, rounding them up will make them more manageable. So, 644 becomes 650 and 238 becomes 240.
Now, add 650 and 240 together. The total is 890. To find the answer to the original equation, it must be determined how much we added to the numbers to round them up.
650 – 644 = 6 and 240 – 238 = 2
Now, add 6 and 2 together for a total of 8
To find the answer to the original equation, 8 must be subtracted from the 890.
890 – 8 = 882
So the answer to 644 +238 is 882.
2. Subtracting from 1,000
Here’s a basic rule to subtract a large number from 1,000: Subtract every number except the last from 9 and subtract the final number from 10
For example: 1,000 – 556
Step 1: Subtract 5 from 9 = 4
Step 2: Subtract 5 from 9 = 4
Step 3: Subtract 6 from 10 = 4
The answer is 444.
3. Multiplying 5 times any number
When multiplying the number 5 by an even number, there is a quick way to find the answer.
For example, 5 x 4 =
- Step 1: Take the number being multiplied by 5 and cut it in half, this makes the number 4 become the number 2.
- Step 2: Add a zero to the number to find the answer. In this case, the answer is 20.
5 x 4 = 20
When multiplying an odd number times 5, the formula is a bit different.
For instance, consider 5 x 3.
- Step 1: Subtract one from the number being multiplied by 5, in this instance the number 3 becomes the number 2.
- Step 2: Now halve the number 2, which makes it the number 1. Make 5 the last digit. The number produced is 15, which is the answer.
5 x 3 = 15
4. Division tricks
Here’s a quick way to know when a number can be evenly divided by these certain numbers:
- 10 if the number ends in 0
- 9 when the digits are added together and the total is evenly divisible by 9
- 8 if the last three digits are evenly divisible by 8 or are 000
- 6 if it is an even number and when the digits are added together the answer is evenly divisible by 3
- 5 if it ends in a 0 or 5
- 4 if it ends in 00 or a two digit number that is evenly divisible by 4
- 3 when the digits are added together and the result is evenly divisible by the number 3
- 2 if it ends in 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8
5. Multiplying by 9
This is an easy method that is helpful for multiplying any number by 9. Here is how it works:
Let’s use the example of 9 x 3.
Step 1: Subtract 1 from the number that is being multiplied by 9.
3 – 1 = 2
The number 2 is the first number in the answer to the equation.
Step 2: Subtract that number from the number 9.
9 – 2 = 7
The number 7 is the second number in the answer to the equation.
So, 9 x 3 = 27
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