A young student standing in front of the blackboard doing some mental maths while writing in a workbook

Mastering Mental Maths

Are you tired of fumbling with your calculator every time you face a math problem? Do you envy those who seem to effortlessly perform complex calculations in their heads? The secret lies in the realm of mental maths! 

In this article, we will dive into the world of mental maths tricks and techniques that can supercharge your number-crunching abilities. Whether you’re a student, professional, or simply intrigued by the power of the human mind, read on to discover the magic of mental maths.

What is Mental Maths?

Mental maths, simply put, is the ability to perform mathematical calculations in your mind, without the aid of external tools like calculators or pen and paper. It involves using multiple strategies and techniques to arrive, with practice quickly, at accurate solutions. This skill isn’t just a party trick; it has numerous real-life applications; from splitting bills at a restaurant to making financial decisions.

Why Should You Learn Mental Maths?

Enhancing your mental maths skills offers a range of benefits:

  1. Speed and Efficiency: Imagine being able to calculate tips, discounts, or change instantly. Mental maths allows you to arrive at answers much faster than reaching for a calculator.
  2. Brain Workout: It is like a workout for your brain. Regular practice sharpens your cognitive abilities, improving overall problem-solving skills. Apart from that, just like other exercises provide health benefits, mental maths provides great health benefits for your brain.
  3. Confidence Boost: As you master mental maths, your confidence in tackling numbers grows. This newfound confidence can spill over into other areas of your life.
  4. Accessible Everywhere: You don’t always have a calculator on hand, but your brain is always with you. Mental maths enables you to perform calculations anytime, anywhere.

Techniques and Tricks for Mental Maths

  1. Breaking Down Numbers

Breaking down numbers into simpler components, or units, makes calculations easier. For instance, when multiplying 27 by 4, think of it as (20 * 4) + (7 * 4) for a faster solution. If you struggled with getting that quickly, it is okay, practice makes perfect. The answer is a hundred and eight.

  1. Round and Adjust

Rounding numbers to the nearest tens or hundreds can simplify calculations. After arriving at the answer, adjust for the rounding to get an approximate solution. For instance, instead of trying to calculate 9 * 8, multiply 10 and 8. You’ll get 80 but you know it has to be less than that, 8 less actually, leaving you with 72. Test yourself like this with a calculator and you’d be surprised how quickly you can accurately guess large numbers (or get really close).

  1. Doubling and Halving

Multiplying by 2 is the same as doubling and dividing by 2 is halving. Utilize this technique for multiplication and division to simplify complex operations. Combine this with rounding and adjusting to simplify real-life situations dramatically.

  1. Using Patterns

Numbers often follow patterns. For multiplication, the distributive property (a * b) = a * (c + d) can be useful. This turns complex multiplications into simpler ones.

  1. Squaring Numbers Ending in 5

To square numbers ending in 5, multiply the number formed by the digits before 5 with the next number

For example, 252

2 * 3 = 6. 

Thus 252 = 625.

Resources to Improve Your Mental Maths

Check out these resources to boost your skills. Some we have already covered, yet sometimes it is helpful to hear something explained in a different way or be given a different example for it to stick:

1. MathsHowTo: This website offers a comprehensive list of mental maths strategies that cover various techniques and scenarios.

2. Math Mammoth: Explore practical tips and exercises to strengthen your mental maths capabilities.

3. 3P Learning: Dive into this blog post for insights into effective mental maths strategies for students.

FAQs About Mental Maths

Is mental math difficult?

Mental math, like all things, becomes easier with practice. Start with simple calculations and gradually challenge yourself with more complex problems.

How to solve mental maths?

Solving mental maths involves using techniques like breaking down numbers, rounding, patterns, and more. Practice and exposure to different methods are key.

How do you teach mental maths?

Teaching mental maths involves introducing students to various strategies and letting them practice through real-world scenarios. Visual aids and hands-on examples can be incredibly helpful.

Now that you’ve unlocked the world of mental maths, it’s time to put these techniques into action. Start small, practice regularly, and watch as your mental maths skills soar to new heights. Remember, your mind is the most powerful tool you possess!

Happy calculating! 🧠🔢

Scroll to Top