10 Ways to Do Fast Math: Tricks and Tips for Doing Math in Your Head

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You don’t have to be a math teacher to know that a lot of students—and likely a lot of parents (it’s been awhile!)—are intimidated by math problems, especially if they involve large numbers. Learning techniques on how to do math quickly can help students develop greater confidence in math, improve math skills and understanding, and excel in advanced courses.

If it’s your job to teach those, here’s a great refresher.

10 tricks for doing fast math

Here are 10 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.

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