A lot of attention and perseverance is required when it comes to doing mental arithmetic. Right from the exams in junior school to +2 boards, while shopping or saving, we need to apply mathematics daily. However, it is problematic to calculate complex equations in our heads. The insights mentioned here will help in making the process of calculation a lot simpler. We give you a lot of  tips to help with maths.

Maths is ubiquitous

We use maths consciously or subconsciously in our day to day activities. Whether in school while giving answers to problems in algebra or geometry or while calculating how much change we need to give to a shopkeeper, we are always dependent on our math skills.

Learning to calculate by quick and effective mental arithmetic helps in making life easier; be it while measuring ingredients to make a dish or calculating the steps taken while running laps, basic math is essential.

Though we have the “Calculator” app and other similar apps in our mobile phones it is not always convenient to take the mobile out, browse through the apps, find the right one, put the inputs and wait for the results. In addition to that the pop-up ads are a nuisance and technical glitches slow down the entire process.

A teacher solving math problems.
Teacher with good subject knowledge is a worthy asset. Source: Hindustan Times

So, let’s see how we can master mental arithmetic with an online math tutor  and improve your maths level ?

Convenience of a quick calculation

The ability to calculate swiftly has its own benefits. Be it the board exams where time management is crucial or calculating the spend after shopping, the advantages of being able to do a quick calculation is unparalleled. Exercising the brain by doing mental arithmetic helps in making you smarter and more efficient. It betters your rational thinking, helps in quick analysis and even helps to fight degenerative conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Exercising the brain helps to prevent panic attacks and anxiety due to stress by settling the nerves. Solving games like “Sudoku” or playing brain enhancement online math games from the Play store helps in increasing the IQ level and alertness while having fun.

Why should I master Mental Arithmetic?

How does mental arithmetic help us?

There are a lot of motives for doing mental arithmetic and increasing your capability to do calculations in your head. For example:

  • It will increase your ability to think more clearly and be less dependent on calculators.
  • Doing fast maths can be impressive in any gathering or job interviews.
  • You won’t get robbed when it comes to handling change money.
  • You will need a smaller number of tutorials and save money likewise.

Can you become a mathematician later in life?

Everybody is not born with the same IQ but it is proven that exercising the brain by doing mental arithmetic can increase the IQ levels. The saying “practice makes a man perfect” holds true in this case. The more you practice mental arithmetic the easier it will be for you to face life’s challenges.

There are stories of people speaking a completely new language or developing a new set of skills after an accident. Our brain works in strange ways and it is completely possible to become a maths genius later in life as can be see in this short article where a man becomes a maths genius after an accident.

Take maths tuition here now.

How can you teach yourself maths?

What are the tricks for rapid calculation?

Now that you understand the benefits of mental arithmetic don’t hesitate to start!!

Doing mental maths is an acquired skill achieved by repeated practice and exercising the brain. Mental arithmetic helps in activating areas of the brain responsible for spatial awareness. The frontal temporal region of the brain, which helps with long-term memory, gets activated when we do mental arithmetic, and this can help us in doing complex equations in our head.

Younger children find it easier to learn and apply mental arithmetic as they are more adaptive and curious. Playing Ludo is an easy and fun way for them to learn and do mental maths!

Can you learn mental arithmetic?
Do you dream of being as good at maths as Dustin Hoffman was in Rain Man? (Source: Allocine)

Maths tutorials to help in doing quick calculations

Practice mental arithmetic daily for 10 minutes to help in the development and betterment of the reflex actions of the brain. Repeat formulas, equations and calculations in your head. Write them down and recite orally. It is also important to monitor your progress.

Having trouble finding a teacher near you? Try an online maths tutor. Check here how tips from vedic maths can help you to excel in mental mathematics

Knowledge about the below inputs can help you increasing your mental arithmetic skills:

  • Addition and multiplication tables,
  • Knowledge of the complements of the number 10, squares up to 15² (225) as well as the powers of 2, Pi, Golden Ratio
  • Multiplying by powers of 10 with negative and positive exponents,
  • Dividing by a number is the same as multiplying by its reciprocal,
  • Learning the special products: (a+b) ² = a²+2ab+b², etc. and rules of factorization.
  • Learning about polynomial, calculations for trigonometry, exponents, calculus, bar graphs, equivalent fractions can help make a strong base.

Tips to be the next Ramanujan

Write down the calculations on a paper.

To master mental arithmetic it takes time, patience and repeated practice. It is not an overnight phenomenon so do not stress yourself if you feel that you are not progressing. A lot of people find it convenient to write the equations and calculations down on a piece of paper. Visualizing them helps in memorizing at a faster pace. However, some find it easier to retain everything in their heads.

Estimating an answer helps!!

You can estimate an answer first and then come to the actual result. This will help in doing the calculation faster. For example, if you want the answer to 50*130, you can start by multiplying 50 by 100 which is a lot easier and then progress from there. You will get to know the number of digits in your final answer as well as get a rough estimate of what the actual answer should be.

Correlate numbers to objects

It is always more convenient to equate a number or parts of an equation to something more familiar, like building blocks or pictures or items of daily use. This helps in better visualization and easy calculations as too many numbers can jumble up our mind.

Start working from the last digit

Checking the last digit of a number will help in giving you a lot of ideas and what the answer to an equation might be.

If a number ends with an even digit, then it is divisible by 2. If it ends with 5 or 0 then it is divisible by 5 or 10.

For example, 24 ends with an even number so it’s divisible by 2, while 450 ends with a 0 so it is divisible by and 10.

To check if a number is divisible by 3 add up the digits to see if the said number is divisible by 3 or 9. For example if we add the digits of the number 213, we get 2+1+3=6 which is divisible by 3 hence the number is also divisible by 3.

A number is said to be divisible by 9 if the sum of its digits is equal to a multiple of 9 (e.g.: 639, 6 + 3 + 9= 18, which is 1 + 8 = 9, which is a multiple of 9).

If the sum of the digits of a number is divisible by 3 and is also an even number, it will be divisible by 6 too.

For Addition

Break down the numbers for faster calculation.

For example, 74 + 19 is (70 + 2 +2) + (10 + 9) = (70 + 10) + (2 +2 + 9) = 80 + 13 = 93.

Or even: 11 + 47 is 11 + (50 - 3) = 61 - 3 = 58.

For Subtraction

Learn to simplify numbers.

For example: 1951 – 1906. The number 1900 is there in both the numbers so just subtract the tens and units, 51 - 6 = 45.

Butterfly Fractions

Fractions are difficult to deal with. It is best to find a common denominator in these cases and it becomes more easier as you practice it over and over again.

For example: 7/4 + 1/5

First do a cross multiplication: 7 x 5 =35 and 4 x 1 = 4

Then add the two results to get the final numerator, 35 + 4 = 39

To find the denominator, multiply the two denominators: 4 x 5 =20

Therefore: 3/4 + 2/5 = 39/20

The same way can be applied when you are doing subtraction in fractions.

How Do You Multiply by 11?

It is very easy!

To work out 23 x 11, first multiply 23 x 10, then add 23, so 230 + 23 = 253.

There is a second way also by which you can calculate.

For the same problem, 23 x 11, all you need to do is add the 2 digits from the number being multiplied by 11 and place them between the two numbers.

Therefore, 2 + 3 =5, putting the resulting 5 between the 2 and 3 and we get: 253!

If by adding we get a number with two digits like multiplying 65 x 11, the solution is easy. 6 + 5 = 11, we place the first 1 between the 6 and 5 and we add the second 1 to the 6. We, therefore, get 715.

What practice tests can I do to train to do fast maths?
Let's try some easier maths exercises first! (Source: Freepik)

Inputs to upgrade your expertise in calculations

  • It is more convenient to group numbers together before starting to calculate anything. For example, 1.3 / 1.9 = 13 / 19 = 130 / 190,
  • Add units in a way that it makes a 10 (1 + 9, 2 + 8, 3 + 7, etc.),
  • To add or subtract 9, 19, or 29, just add or subtract by 10, 20, or 30, before adding or subtracting 1,
  • Keep in mind that dividing by a number is the same as multiplying by the reciprocal of the same number,
  • It is easy to add 2 fractions when there is a common denominator.

Follow these maths tips !

Websites to help you to excel in Mental Arithmetic

The internet is an asset when it comes to learning things online and mental arithmetic is no exception. This along with tutorials from a maths tutor will help you to excel in mental arithmetic. Learn math from math tutorials, interactive math games and activities, math resources from online portals to polish your math concepts.

There are a lot of web pages that have quizzes, texts, and exercises from where you can learn and practice.

  • ALOHAIndia- There are sessions on mental arithmetic and courses which students can take up. There are also different levels and competitions where they can take part.
  • Vedimaths- There are courses designed for each class/grade of students and they can increase their brain reflexes by taking these sessions.
  • BYJU’s- There are pictorial depiction of maths problems and different courses for all students and they can learn maths in a fun way.

Fun ways to learn how to calculate faster

Almost 50% students face problems doing maths and that impacts the other subjects as well. Students face issues multiplication and division, in doing fractions and decimals and get paranoid while doing calculations with bigger numbers.

There are a lot of new programs which help students to excel in mental arithmetic by-

  • Increasing their reflexes
  • Re-tuning the way they think logically
  • Making them comfortable to work with large numbers
  • Teaching them the properties of the numbers

The fun element needs to be incorporated in all these so that the students find it easier to learn and it does not become a burden to them. One of the best ways is to learn through apps which we can download. You can also visit web pages where you can learn how to excel in mental arithmetic. For example Tech Advisor, which has listed the best mathematical apps for children.

Mental arithmetic is captivating, and it shows how our brains can achieve unbelievable heights. We need to practice enhancing our reflexes to make life simpler. Tutors can give you individualized classes, and this personalized learning can help you become a master of mental math.

It is always good to utilize the different media assets to learn in a more efficient and fun way, but we should be regular in revising what we learn. This will help us master mental arithmetic and we can benefit tremendously from it.


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