List of math skills

Help Your Child Develop Early Math Skills

Before they start school, most children develop an understanding of addition and subtraction through everyday interactions. Learn what informal activities give children a head start on early math skills when they start school.

Children are using early math skills throughout their daily routines and activities. This is good news as these skills are important for being ready for school. But early math doesn’t mean taking out the calculator during playtime. Even before they start school, most children develop an understanding of addition and subtraction through everyday interactions. For example, Thomas has two cars; Joseph wants one. After Thomas shares one, he sees that he has one car left (Bowman, Donovan, & Burns, 2001, p. 201). Other math skills are introduced through daily routines you share with your child—counting steps as you go up or down, for example. Informal activities like this one give children a jumpstart on the formal math instruction that starts in school.

What math knowledge will your child need later on in elementary school? Early mathematical concepts and skills that first-grade mathematics curriculum builds on include: (Bowman et al., 2001, p. 76).

  • Understanding size, shape, and patterns
  • Ability to count verbally (first forward, then backward)
  • Recognizing numerals
  • Identifying more and less of a quantity
  • Understanding one-to-one correspondence (i.e., matching sets, or knowing which group has four and which has five)

Key Math Skills for School

More advanced mathematical skills are based on an early math “foundation”—just like a house is built on a strong foundation. In the toddler years, you can help your child begin to develop early math skills by introducing ideas like: (From Diezmann & Yelland, 2000, and Fromboluti & Rinck, 1999.)

Number Sense

This is the ability to count accurately—first forward. Then, later in school, children will learn to count backwards. A more complex skill related to number sense is the ability to see relationships between numbers—like adding and subtracting. Ben (age 2) saw the cupcakes on the plate. He counted with his dad: “One, two, three, four, five, six…”


Making mathematical ideas “real” by using words, pictures, symbols, and objects (like blocks). Casey (aged 3) was setting out a pretend picnic. He carefully laid out four plastic plates and four plastic cups: “So our whole family can come to the picnic!” There were four members in his family; he was able to apply this information to the number of plates and cups he chose.

Spatial sense

Later in school, children will call this “geometry.” But for toddlers it is introducing the ideas of shape, size, space, position, direction and movement. Aziz (28 months) was giggling at the bottom of the slide. “What’s so funny?” his Auntie wondered. “I comed up,” said Aziz, “Then I comed down!”


Technically, this is finding the length, height, and weight of an object using units like inches, feet or pounds. Measurement of time (in minutes, for example) also falls under this skill area. Gabriella (36 months) asked her Abuela again and again: “Make cookies? Me do it!” Her Abuela showed her how to fill the measuring cup with sugar. “We need two cups, Gabi. Fill it up once and put it in the bowl, then fill it up again.”


This is the ability to make a good guess about the amount or size of something. This is very difficult for young children to do. You can help them by showing them the meaning of words like more, less, bigger, smaller, more than, less than. Nolan (30 months) looked at the two bagels: one was a regular bagel, one was a mini-bagel. His dad asked: “Which one would you like?” Nolan pointed to the regular bagel. His dad said, “You must be hungry! That bagel is bigger. That bagel is smaller. Okay, I’ll give you the bigger one. Breakfast is coming up!”


Patterns are things—numbers, shapes, images—that repeat in a logical way. Patterns help children learn to make predictions, to understand what comes next, to make logical connections, and to use reasoning skills. Ava (27 months) pointed to the moon: “Moon. Sun go night-night.” Her grandfather picked her up, “Yes, little Ava. In the morning, the sun comes out and the moon goes away. At night, the sun goes to sleep and the moon comes out to play. But it’s time for Ava to go to sleep now, just like the sun.”


The ability to think through a problem, to recognize there is more than one path to the answer. It means using past knowledge and logical thinking skills to find an answer. Carl (15 months old) looked at the shape-sorter—a plastic drum with 3 holes in the top. The holes were in the shape of a triangle, a circle and a square. Carl looked at the chunky shapes on the floor. He picked up a triangle. He put it in his month, then banged it on the floor. He touched the edges with his fingers. Then he tried to stuff it in each of the holes of the new toy. Surprise! It fell inside the triangle hole! Carl reached for another block, a circular one this time…

Math: One Part of the Whole

Math skills are just one part of a larger web of skills that children are developing in the early years—including language skills, physical skills, and social skills. Each of these skill areas is dependent on and influences the others.

Trina (18 months old) was stacking blocks. She had put two square blocks on top of one another, then a triangle block on top of that. She discovered that no more blocks would balance on top of the triangle-shaped block. She looked up at her dad and showed him the block she couldn’t get to stay on top, essentially telling him with her gesture, “Dad, I need help figuring this out.” Her father showed her that if she took the triangle block off and used a square one instead, she could stack more on top. She then added two more blocks to her tower before proudly showing her creation to her dad: “Dada, Ook! Ook!”

You can see in this ordinary interaction how all areas of Trina’s development are working together. Her physical ability allows her to manipulate the blocks and use her thinking skills to execute her plan to make a tower. She uses her language and social skills as she asks her father for help. Her effective communication allows Dad to respond and provide the helps she needs (further enhancing her social skills as she sees herself as important and a good communicator). This then further builds her thinking skills as she learns how to solve the problem of making the tower taller.

What You Can Do

The tips below highlight ways that you can help your child learn early math skills by building on their natural curiosity and having fun together. (Note: Most of these tips are designed for older children—ages 2–3. Younger children can be exposed to stories and songs using repetition, rhymes and numbers.)

Shape up.

Play with shape-sorters. Talk with your child about each shape—count the sides, describe the colors. Make your own shapes by cutting large shapes out of colored construction paper. Ask your child to “hop on the circle” or “jump on the red shape.”

Count and sort.

Gather together a basket of small toys, shells, pebbles or buttons. Count them with your child. Sort them based on size, color, or what they do (i.e., all the cars in one pile, all the animals in another).

Place the call.

With your 3-year-old, begin teaching her the address and phone number of your home. Talk with your child about how each house has a number, and how their house or apartment is one of a series, each with its own number.

What size is it?

Notice the sizes of objects in the world around you: That pink pocketbook is the biggest. The blue pocketbook is the smallest. Ask your child to think about his own size relative to other objects (“Do you fit under the table? Under the chair?”).

You’re cookin’ now!

Even young children can help fill, stir, and pour. Through these activities, children learn, quite naturally, to count, measure, add, and estimate.

Walk it off.

Taking a walk gives children many opportunities to compare (which stone is bigger?), assess (how many acorns did we find?), note similarities and differences (does the duck have fur like the bunny does?) and categorize (see if you can find some red leaves). You can also talk about size (by taking big and little steps), estimate distance (is the park close to our house or far away?), and practice counting (let’s count how many steps until we get to the corner).

Picture time.

Use an hourglass, stopwatch, or timer to time short (1–3 minute) activities. This helps children develop a sense of time and to understand that some things take longer than others.

Shape up.

Point out the different shapes and colors you see during the day. On a walk, you may see a triangle-shaped sign that’s yellow. Inside a store you may see a rectangle-shaped sign that’s red.

Read and sing your numbers.

Sing songs that rhyme, repeat, or have numbers in them. Songs reinforce patterns (which is a math skill as well). They also are fun ways to practice language and foster social skills like cooperation.

Start today.

Use a calendar to talk about the date, the day of the week, and the weather. Calendars reinforce counting, sequences, and patterns. Build logical thinking skills by talking about cold weather and asking your child: What do we wear when it’s cold? This encourages your child to make the link between cold weather and warm clothing.

Pass it around.

Ask for your child’s help in distributing items like snacks or in laying napkins out on the dinner table. Help him give one cracker to each child. This helps children understand one-to-one correspondence. When you are distributing items, emphasize the number concept: “One for you, one for me, one for Daddy.” Or, “We are putting on our shoes: One, two.”

Big on blocks.

Give your child the chance to play with wooden blocks, plastic interlocking blocks, empty boxes, milk cartons, etc. Stacking and manipulating these toys help children learn about shapes and the relationships between shapes (e.g., two triangles make a square). Nesting boxes and cups for younger children help them understand the relationship between different sized objects.

Tunnel time.

Open a large cardboard box at each end to turn it into a tunnel. This helps children understand where their body is in space and in relation to other objects.

The long and the short of it.

Cut a few (3–5) pieces of ribbon, yarn or paper in different lengths. Talk about ideas like long and short. With your child, put in order of longest to shortest.

Learn through touch.

Cut shapes—circle, square, triangle—out of sturdy cardboard. Let your child touch the shape with her eyes open and then closed.

Pattern play.

Have fun with patterns by letting children arrange dry macaroni, chunky beads, different types of dry cereal, or pieces of paper in different patterns or designs. Supervise your child carefully during this activity to prevent choking, and put away all items when you are done.

Laundry learning.

Make household jobs fun. As you sort the laundry, ask your child to make a pile of shirts and a pile of socks. Ask him which pile is the bigger (estimation). Together, count how many shirts. See if he can make pairs of socks: Can you take two socks out and put them in their own pile? (Don’t worry if they don’t match! This activity is more about counting than matching.)

Playground math.

As your child plays, make comparisons based on height (high/low), position (over/under), or size (big/little).

Dress for math success.

Ask your child to pick out a shirt for the day. Ask: What color is your shirt? Yes, yellow. Can you find something in your room that is also yellow? As your child nears three and beyond, notice patterns in his clothing—like stripes, colors, shapes, or pictures: I see a pattern on your shirt. There are stripes that go red, blue, red, blue. Or, Your shirt is covered with ponies—a big pony next to a little pony, all over your shirt!

Graphing games.

As your child nears three and beyond, make a chart where your child can put a sticker each time it rains or each time it is sunny. At the end of a week, you can estimate together which column has more or less stickers, and count how many to be sure.


Bowman, B.T., Donovan, M.S., & Burns, M.S., (Eds.). (2001). Eager to learn: Educating our preschoolers. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences.

Diezmann, C., & Yelland, N. J. (2000). Developing mathematical literacy in the early childhood years. In Yelland, N.J. (Ed.), Promoting meaningful learning: Innovations in educating early childhood professionals. (pp.47–58). Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Fromboluti, C. S., & Rinck, N. (1999 June). Early childhood: Where learning begins. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Institute on Early Childhood Development and Education. Retrieved on May 11, 2018 from


What They Are And Examples – Zippia

  • What Are Mathematical Skills?
  • How to Improve Your Mathematical Skills
  • How to Highlight Mathematical Skills on a Resume
  • Improving Your Mathematical Skills Is Worth the Effort
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sign Up For More Advice and Jobs

Show More

Improving your mathematical skills will increase your chances for professional success, no matter what career path you pursue.

Many professionals use mathematical skills directly in their day-to-day duties without realizing it.

Even for the rare jobs that never directly deal with numbers and figures, you’ll often need the same problem-solving and critical thinking abilities used in math to succeed.

In this article, we’ll cover the most important mathematical skills to master for the workplace. You’ll also learn how to improve your math skills and highlight them during the job-search process.

Key Takeaways:

  • 10 mathematical skills that are useful in the workplace are time management, mental arithmetic, constructing logical arguments, abstract thinking, data analysis, research, visualization, creativity, forecasting, and attention to detail.

  • Improve your mathematical skills by acquiring conceptual understandings of the skills and solving practice problems.

  • A mathematical skill should be listed on a resume when the job listing states the skill as a requirement.

  • Most mathematical skills are transferable and help you stand out in a crowd of applicants.

What Are Mathematical Skills?

The term “mathematical skills” doesn’t just refer to nebulous topics taught in school, such as calculus. They’re the practical abilities that are useful no matter the industry or size of business you work in.

This includes skills such as:

  1. Time management. Being able to manage your time efficiently is critical for your day-to-day activities, in addition to long-term planning success.

    The average person wastes three entire hours each day due to inefficient time management.

    Not only does that immediately translate to wasted money, but to wasted time that could be devoted to your non-work passions and activities.

    The inability to manage time over the long-term could also lead to underperformance and missed deadlines that could harm or even destroy your career.

  2. Mental arithmetic. Being able to do mental math quickly will serve you well in a variety of professions.

    Retail workers may need to quickly and accurately figure out a customer’s change when given a large sum of money.

    If a business client suggests an order or asks about certain specifications, you might need to quickly determine the mathematical viability of whatever their request is.

  3. Constructing logical arguments. Many careers demand the same precise, logical reasoning that’s used to solve math problems.

    An attorney needs to ensure that their legal argument logically follows from the facts and evidence provided.

    A sales representative must present relevant reasons to clients in order to convince them to purchase a product.

  4. Abstract thinking. Abstract thinking is the ability to understand and compare non-physical concepts, such as freedom or honesty.

    Improving your abstract thinking skills is useful for any career that involves creativity or navigating through complex rules.

    For example, programmers and physicists use abstract thinking when learning how a program or system functions.

  5. Data analysis. A large variety of professions will require you to interpret and analyze data at some point.

    Any scientific career will involve heavy interpretation of complex sets of data.

    Jobs in business-related fields will likewise require you to understand charts and figures in order to extract meaningful patterns.

  6. Research. Knowing how to effectively research information is crucial for developing solutions for the many problems you’ll face in your career.

    In the age of the internet, there is a nearly infinite wealth of information about any topic you could wish to learn about.

    The downside is that much of that information is misleading or false, making it critical that you develop the ability to fact-check and distinguish reputable sources from untrustworthy ones.

  7. Visualization. The same ability to visualize problems and outcomes is critical for finding solutions in the workplace.

    Any problem you face during your career will present a variety of possible solutions with which to tackle it.

    Visualization skills allow you to weigh the available data and tools, the target goal, and other factors to solve the challenge.

  8. Creativity. Improving your creativity skills allows you to come up with new ideas and innovations.

    Presenting fresh ideas and solutions will also help you stand out among the competition in the workplace.

    This makes the skill applicable to almost every possible career, not just those commonly considered “creative.”

  9. Forecasting. Forecasting is the ability to extrapolate events into the future based on available data and knowledge.

    This skill is critical for any job that involves planning for the future.

    For example, a manager needs to be able to forecast details such as revenue and budget into the future to make effective decisions in the present.

  10. Attention to detail. Some jobs require more attention to small details than others.

    An athlete may be mostly unaffected by miscalculating some small aspect of their daily fitness regimen, but a software developer that misses a single piece of syntax could crash an entire program.

How to Improve Your Mathematical Skills

You can improve your mathematical skills in the same way that you would improve any other skill – through consistent practice.

More specifically, there are two key actions you should follow:

  • Acquire conceptual understanding. You can’t improve a mathematical skill if you don’t even know what that math skill entails.

    For example, suppose that you wish to improve your data analysis skills.

    A quick Google search reveals that the main elements of data analysis include understanding statistics, visuals such as charts and graphs, and how to apply the data to practical problems.

    You could then look up those specific elements and further branch down to fill any gaps in your knowledge. Use the internet and it’s nearly infinite examples and descriptions to help you learn.

  • Solve practice problems. It’s not enough to understand a concept to master it; you must practice practically applying it.

    This piece of advice applies to certain math skills more than others. You can find plenty of online games to help you improve your hard skills, such as mental arithmetic, but maybe not your creativity.

    You’ll have to use your own creativity to find ways to target those skills and challenge yourself in the same way that you would target a specific muscle group when working out.

How to Highlight Mathematical Skills on a Resume

Improving your mathematical skills positively affects your work performance.

However, we still want to find a way to highlight them to recruiters, so they know that we’ve mastered them.

There are a few important guidelines to follow:

  • List or prove on your resume. The skills section of your resume can be an okay place to mention your math skills.

    1. The job listing states the skill as a requirement. If your resume doesn’t contain the specific term, some companies’ applicant tracking systems (ATS) may automatically filter you out.

    2. Not significant enough to waste additional resume space. Despite being required, some skills may not be essential enough to waste more than a single bullet point talking about.

      For example, a job may require basic clerical skills such as multiplying and dividing small figures.

      Once you meet this baseline requirement, however, companies would rather read more about your other qualifications than your ability to multiply well.

    “Critical-thinking skills” and “problem-solving skills” are generically added to so many resumes that the terms often become meaningless.

    A better way to highlight your math skills on a resume is to prove it through the results you’ve achieved. Use numbers to emphasize the positive value you created for a past employer.

    For example, “Developed a new marketing strategy by analyzing millions of data points that improved customer conversion rates by 23%” proves to recruiters that you possess strong data-analysis abilities.

  • Prove them in your cover letter. You want to give examples of when you used mathematical skills to create value for a past employer.

    This differs from the resume strategy in that cover letters are narrower in scope.

    Your resume needs to fit many examples on a single page, while your cover letter can target a few key skills to demonstrate with greater detail.

    To figure out which math skills to focus on, pay attention to the essential requirements and duties listed in the job listing. Make your best judgment on the most important skills to highlight.

    Unlike on your resume, where simply listing a mathematical skill without examples to back it up can sometimes make sense, never do this on your cover letter.

  • Explain in-depth during your job interview. Job interviews allow you the time to dive much deeper into examples of how you’ve utilized mathematical skills.

    Consider the previous resume example about developing a new marketing strategy using data-analysis skills.

    During the interview, you could expand on the specific technical skills and tools you used. Explain the initial problem and the thought process you employed to tackle it.

    Of course, the type of job interview does affect the content of your answer. If the job isn’t directly related to marketing or data-analysis, then expand only on your transferable skills and the more generally applicable aspects of your thought-process.

Improving Your Mathematical Skills Is Worth the Effort

Many professionals neglect to train their mathematical skills in favor of skills that are more directly relevant to their jobs. While direct skills are important, you should improve both categories of skills to help you stand out from the crowd.

Most mathematical skills are transferable, meaning they’ll remain useful throughout your entire career rather than just at your current job. From researcher to nurse, designer to manager; mathematical skills such as data analysis and problem-solving will serve you well.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the most important math skills?

  2. The most important math skills in the workplace depend on your needs. The four fundamental arithmetic operations of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing are very important for all adults to have a basic understanding because they appear in many of our lives daily.

    Time management, logic, and abstract thinking are also very important for most adults to know, regardless of profession, because they help provide structure to your life and prepare you for critical thinking.

  3. Why are mathematical skills important?

  4. Mathematical skills are important because they provide structure to solving problems rationally. Mathematical skills can be used everyday to make sense of a chaotic world. Recognizing patterns, using logic, building on abstract concepts all are what help keep society moving.

  5. How do you list math skills on a resume?

  6. List math skills under the skills section of a resume. In order to be efficient with space, make sure to only list relevant skills that are found in the job description and avoid general terms.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Never miss an opportunity that’s right for you.

definition, examples and how to develop them • BUOM

June 9, 2021

We use math every day in almost every situation, including work. This makes math skills a valuable asset on a resume. Understanding basic mathematics enables employees to solve problems and day-to-day tasks more effectively. In this article, we define what math skills are, provide examples, and offer a list of ways to improve those skills.

What is mathematical ability? nine0007

Math skills help people cope with basic daily tasks, from showing up to work on time to paying bills. Students learn these skills in school and often use them more as they get older and get jobs. Mathematical skills are important for both work and personal life.

Examples of math skills

Regardless of the size of the business or industry, all employees need basic math skills to get the job done. These skills will come in handy in unexpected places. The following list describes areas where math skills can be used:

Money counting

In retail, some people operate cash registers. An integral part of their job requires them to count money. Their transaction system does most of the settlement for them, but if they receive change or gift cards, they often need a basic understanding of a cash account.

For example, if the total purchase is $50 and the customer gives the cashier a $25 gift card, they will use subtraction to find the new amount. If they pay the balance in cash, the cashier should be able to count them. nine0003

Time management

Time is an important element in work. In many jobs, projects must be completed on or before certain dates in order to be successful. For example, if a marketer is running a project for a client and both parties agree that the completion date is April 5th, then the marketer needs to calculate the months, weeks, days, and sometimes hours they have to complete the job. This allows them to plan their time more intelligently, ensuring that all aspects of it are completed by a specific time. nine0003


In many industries, employees order supplies and other supplies as needed. To do this, they need to calculate their current inventory and estimate how much more of each item they need. For example, the manager of a high-rise window cleaning company notices that they are running out of window cleaner. There are 20 gallons left, but the manager knows they need at least 80 gallons by the end of the week for the job ahead. He subtracts 20 from 80 to find out how much he needs for a new order. The manager places an order for 60 gallons of cleaner. nine0003

How to improve your math skills

While most jobs don't require advanced math skills, especially with the advent of technology, it's important to practice them as needed. There are several options available for those wishing to improve their math skills:

  1. Learning Concepts.

  2. Find practice problems online.

  3. Find math games online.

  4. Make math part of your life.

1. Learn the concepts

This may seem general, but there are many basic mathematical concepts and principles that help you get the job done. Returning to the cashier example, they need to figure out how much a dollar is worth in relation to a dime, or a nickel in relation to a penny. More complex situations often require complex formulas where people use the order of operations to get the answer.

2. Find practice problems on the Internet

On the Internet you can find a large number of word problems and other basic math questions for practice. Since mathematics is used in almost every area of ​​life, there are scenarios on the Internet that cover almost every niche imaginable. Find these practice problems and try to solve them in your free time.

3. Find math games online

As with practice problems, there are many math games online and on mobile devices. Most separate their content into categories, allowing users to focus only on the issues they need to practice with. Math games are more fun than regular practice problems, creating an environment where users are entertained while learning. nine0003

4. Make math a part of your life

Integrating math into everyday life keeps your skills sharp over time. For example, when shopping, look for discounted items. Find the discount percentage and the original selling price and determine the new price. Items often have the new price listed somewhere on a sign or tag. With the answer in mind, check it against the number on the item.

Workplace math skills

Regardless of industry, employees use some form of math every day to complete their tasks. The following list shows examples of using mathematics in the workplace:

Problem solving

Employees face problems almost every day. For many, problem solving is part of their job responsibilities. Finding unique ways to solve problems often requires mathematics. For example, when determining the quantity of consumables for an order, an employee can take the average of several recent orders. The response they receive helps them determine the amount of supplies needed.

Mathematical reasoning

Mathematical reasoning involves choosing the appropriate mathematical methods to solve a problem. For example, employees use mathematical reasoning when delegating work. If there are 10 employees and two projects, they divide them according to the needs of each workload, and not in half. A project that requires more hours to complete requires more employees, so the employees are divided into teams accordingly.

Profit measurement

Basic mathematical skills are required to determine net and gross profit. To find net income, employees subtract income and operating expenses from gross income. As part of this calculation, they also take into account depreciation and discounts. The importance of determining net income lies in the fact that it helps to evaluate the success of specific price points that directly affect the bottom line. nine0003

Highlighting math skills

Math skills come in a variety of forms that can be used to validate resumes, cover letters and interviews. Below is how to explain and highlight math skills in each of these three areas:

On your resume

Resumes are often the first place employers point to certain skills. However, a bulleted list needs context, so it's best to link math to specific skills and situations. For example, job seekers cite problem solving skills, explaining that they identify complex problems and develop workable solutions. Those who use math in everyday situations to improve their skills might point to active learning as an explanation because they are always discovering new ways to solve problems. nine0003

In a cover letter

In this respect, cover letters differ from resumes. Instead of listing skills, people explain ideas to further validate their math skills. For example, you can write that they have a high level of mathematical thinking, suggesting that they excel in finding suitable methods when solving problems.

At a job interview

Interviews are like cover letters in that they explain information in more detail. For example, a person explains deductive and inductive thinking and how he uses these thought processes to find solutions. They either apply rules to specific problems to solve, or they use research to create rules or draw conclusions. nine0003

How to upgrade your numeracy skills

Mathematics is taught from primary school: it takes a lot of time and requires strength, concentration and perseverance, as well as, of course, the ability to do mental arithmetic.

Further, it only gets more difficult: the division of mathematics into algebra and geometry in the middle classes, a complex program with an asterisk in the senior classes, and, finally, the university, where, compared with higher mathematics, the entire previous program will seem like flowers. But school topics may not be so simple: calculating the square root, trigonometry, sines and cosines can bring a lot of trouble. It's good that we have tips on how to cope with math. nine0003

The best math teachers available for classes

Let's go!

Mathematics is everywhere

Whether you plan to connect your professional life with mathematics or not, you will still need these skills, because mathematics is everywhere. Even if your job is a part-time salesman at a local store, you have probably already noticed firsthand how important math is, especially if the equipment is out of order and something needs to be calculated in your head.

It is equally important to be able to count quickly and correctly in your mind in everyday life: for example, when you need to quickly estimate the approximate amount of purchases in the grocery store, take measurements for a project, make patterns for a new dress, and so on. nine0003

You can't get rid of math, no matter how hard you try!

Mathematics is also needed to count money, isn't it? Source: Unsplash

And even though today each of us has a mobile phone, it cannot always help us out when something needs to be calculated quickly. The phone may not be at hand, but on the other hand, until we find a calculator in a huge number of installed applications, a lot of time will pass. And then: driving in numbers, switching between applications while notifications do not stop pouring in - can interfere with calculations ...

We are so used to our electronic calculators and so often take them out at the slightest addition problem that we don’t even think: are they counting correctly? Nowadays, we have become so dependent on technology that in the event of the slightest malfunction, we feel helpless. At the same time, behind the “back” of the computer there has always been and is a person who checks that everything is going exactly as it should. While human errors can happen, we hope they can still be generally trusted. nine0003

But, returning to the basics of mental arithmetic, we can help ourselves a lot - for example, in exams. And we are talking not only about the school, but also about additional lessons with a private tutor.

Well, how do you do it? How to get better at math? Are there exercises, techniques or special ways to improve your math level?

The Benefit of Fast Calculations

Whether you are a student or a long-term student, mental arithmetic can make your daily life much easier. nine0003

It will help you quickly deal with the numbers, no matter the situation, and, most importantly, do it without the help of a calculator.

In short, you can learn to count quickly!

Anyone who wants to pump their level of mathematics, the road - to mental arithmetic. It will allow you to work better with numbers and make some calculations easier.

You may think that this is an exaggeration, but in fact, mental arithmetic will make you look smarter (at the same time, progress in mathematics will actually make you smarter). When friends gathered in a restaurant try to split the bill, it looks awkward from the outside: everything takes a long time, inconsistently, fussily. And then there is the waiter at the ready with a mobile terminal, waiting for the guests to figure out who ate how much. And then also calculate how much a tip is due from each ...

Imagine if you could quickly deal with complex numbers in your head? You would quickly resolve the existing problem! The ability to quickly count today does not seem overestimated to anyone. Moreover, both men and women often comment on the attractiveness of math skills. So, more and more reasons to dive into the numbers!

If you count mentally, you don't need a calculator

Mental arithmetic is used all the time in a variety of situations. It allows you to understand in what sequence it is best to perform calculations, and also comes in handy when studying decimal fractions and proportions. nine0003

The multiplication table can come in handy even when you just go shopping and analytical and rational thinking. For the older generation, as well as for the younger, the practice of mental arithmetic will help keep the brain in better condition, preventing the risk of mental illnesses such as anxiety, panic attacks, or worse, Alzheimer's or dementia. nine0003

By the way, those who suffer from panic attacks are advised to inhale for four counts and exhale for seven at the time of the attack. This sequence helps to calm down, and this technique also works preventively.

At first glance it may not seem like it, but mental arithmetic can be fun! If you like to play 2048 or Sudoku, then you are already doing mental arithmetic! So it already helps your neurons to work at full capacity while you play! Remember that the best way to learn is to have fun. nine0003

And if you find a good tutor on Superprof, then progress will go even faster!

Why should I learn to count faster?

How mental arithmetic can be useful

There are several reasons for learning mental arithmetic and developing your mental arithmetic skills. Here is a short list:

  • Once mental counting becomes a habit, you will be able to concentrate more and better on rational thinking. You can save time and, in some cases, money (if we are talking about poker players or bankers)
  • Travel light: you no longer need a calculator with you. In fairness, it is worth noting that today the calculator is built into the phone, but with mental arithmetic you will not have to take it out every time you need to multiply 8 by 7 ...
  • Just imagine: thanks to your training, you can multiply numbers up to 11 among themselves and 12
  • No one else will ever cheat you in the market
  • You will use less mathematical cheat sheets and hints

Opportunities that open up for you

If you focus a little on one of the above reasons, it is worth noting that you really should hone your math skills if you do not want to be deceived - in the market or anywhere else where it matters ability to handle numbers correctly.

Also, the idea of ​​impressing other people with your math skills is not so superficial and vain. This is not only about interpersonal relationships, but also about financial literacy, which certainly will not hurt anyone. nine0003

As we mentioned, being good at math will also help you stand out at university or in job interviews.

Is it true that everyone is born a mathematician?

According to statistics, young people really do not have enough math skills, largely because of the system of teaching mathematics at school. Today, approximately 50% of adults are unable to solve basic mathematical problems. If you feel that you belong to this half (or that you will find yourself in it soon), it's time to invest in mathematics and improve your knowledge in this science. nine0003

Some scientists believe that anyone can become an expert in mathematics. They believe that any person has the ability to think logically, but for this you need to "unblock" a certain part of the brain. Have you ever heard of cases where people, having suffered a head injury, suddenly started speaking in a foreign language that they had never learned? Can you imagine if we really have dormant knowledge and abilities that are just waiting, when will we open the door to them in order to go free? nine0003

If this is true, then training your brain with mental arithmetic may be the key to opening the door to the logical part of your brain. As an example of the fact that everything in this world is possible - an article about a man who became a math genius after a head injury.

Of course, this does not mean that you need to hit your head hard. But an increase in activity in the left hemisphere of the brain can really be a trigger for a change in mindset.

That's why it's time to find an experienced math tutor at Superprof. nine0003

Are there tricks for quick counting?

After giving you so many reasons to learn mental arithmetic, what are you waiting for?

Don't worry!

Handling numbers correctly is just a skill that can be learned. Mathematical ability is not an innate quality, but an acquired one.

Would you like to be as good at math as Dustin Hoffman's character in Rain Man? Source: Unsplash

If you think some people just have math skills, it doesn't mean they were born with them. It's a skill they've learned. Or perhaps they have learned how to use their logical part of the brain.

Some scientists have been able to determine that mental arithmetic activates areas of the brain associated with spatial thinking.

When we count, whether we add or subtract, we sort of move the numbers from one corner to another to get the result. nine0003

Is it true that counting is easier when you are young?

It is also useful for children to develop the ability to count mentally, for this a wide variety of pedagogical approaches can be used. Number and counting games stimulate the corresponding area of ​​the brain.

So keep in mind: playing math puzzles and puzzles with children is very beneficial for their development!

Still in doubt?

Other researchers, focusing on the case of Rüdiger Gamma, the German "human calculator", have tried to understand how he handles such complex mental calculations. nine0003

It turned out that, in his case, the "calculator" activates the frontal lobes of the brain, which are usually associated with long-term memory. It turns out that Gamma has a large amount of memory at his disposal, which helps him break records in mental arithmetic.

And by the way, Gumm got interested in mathematics quite late - he was 20 years old. And it was thanks to daily training that he managed to develop his skills to such a level!

You should remember that memory is your best ally when working with mental arithmetic. nine0003

The best math teachers available for classes

Let's go!

Learn to count quickly with the help of a tutor

In any case, you need to practice mental arithmetic regularly, about ten minutes a day. That will be enough: your brain needs to bring the calculations to a reflex, and repeating the same formulas is what you need. Get to the point where computing becomes as natural to you as riding a bike.

Let's do some easy math first! Source: Unsplash

Mental arithmetic must be practiced both orally and in writing, using special exercise books, programs and problem books, applications, and so on.

It is important to record your own progress so that you can track your progress.

Here are some basic tips to improve your mental arithmetic skills:

  • Learn addition and multiplication tables
  • Learn the composition of the number 10
  • Learn the square power of numbers up to 15 (15² = 225) and successive exponentiation of 2 (up to 10)
  • Learn the multiplication of 10 to a negative power (moving the decimal point to the left) and a positive power (move the decimal to the right)
  • Remember that dividing by a number is the same as multiplying by its reciprocal: for example, dividing by 0.25 is the same as multiplying by 4
  • Remember a few simple equations: (a+ b) ² = a²+2ab+b², (a-b) ² = a²-2ab+b², (a+b) (a-b) = a²-b²,
  • Learn the rules of factorization
  • Memorize Pi to at least five decimal places (3.14159) and the golden ratio (1.618).

A little practice - and you will learn how to count in your head without any problems! Source: Unsplash

Want to be an Einstein? Here are some tips

Put the problem on paper

First of all, don't make life difficult for yourself. Nobody expects you to make great discoveries in mathematics. Doing the most complex calculations in your head, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing at the same time is far from being possible for everyone, and you can achieve a good level in mental arithmetic only if you follow this path with pleasure. nine0003

Also remember that if necessary, you can make calculations on paper. Some find it easier to deal with calculations and other tasks in writing, which makes it easier for them to visualize. At the same time, other people can keep a lot of information in their heads and perform complex calculations without having to stop and recheck their work.

Approximate Precision Is Your Friend

Remember that approximate accuracy can be a great help when doing arithmetic exercises. By roughly determining what the result should be, you can continue to work with greater confidence. Let's say you need to multiply 60 by 120. Start by multiplying the first number by 100, which is much easier and can be done instantly. Now you, at least, know how many digits will be in the final number, and this is already something! nine0003

Turn numbers into shapes and objects

Here's another tip: try not to focus on the numbers. Try representing individual numbers as visual blocks or, for more complex tasks, think of parts of calculations as building blocks. Just by turning a math equation into a picture, you change the way you approach it, which can make things unexpectedly easier.

Try to go beyond numbers. Think about tips and tricks that already exist and that other people recommend. Try to come up with your own cheat codes that work for you personally. nine0003

If that's not enough, keep reading this article. So you will learn even more secrets on how to start progressing in mental arithmetic. You may have never heard of some of them, and this may completely change your understanding of mathematics.

Look at the last digit

Whatever the number in front of you, look at its last digit.

If it is even (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) or 5, then the number can be divided by 2, 5, or 10.

For example, 22 ends in an even number, so it can be divided by 2, and 45 ends in 5 and is divisible by 5.

150 ends in zero, so it is divisible by 10. nine? We check as follows:

In fact, a number is divisible by 3 if the sum of its digits is equal to or a multiple of three (for example, 18 = 1 + 8 = 9, which means it is a multiple of three).

A number is divisible by 9 if the sum of its digits is equal to or a multiple of 9 (example: 936, 9 + 3 + 6 = 18, of which 1 + 8 = 9, which is a multiple of 9).

Also remember that if the sum of all the digits of a number is divisible by 3 and is even, then the number is also divisible by 6.

To add

To simplify the task, break the numbers into parts.

For example, 72 + 29 is (70 + 2) + (20 + 9) = (70 + 20) + (2 + 9) = 90 + 11 = 101.

Or, say: 13 + 48 is 13 + (50 - 2) = 63 - 2 = 61.

To subtract

Learn to simplify numbers.

For example: 1958 - 1907. The number 1900 includes both numbers, so it is enough to subtract: 58 - 7 = 51.

Japanese multiplication method

Are you still not ready for complex multiplications in your head?

With this visual Japanese multiplication technique, you will begin to see the steps of a calculation more clearly. All you have to do is draw lines and the result will magically appear.

Simple, right?

Once you learn this technique, it will become much easier for you to do the same operations in your mind. In fact, by imagining these lines in your head, you can visualize the result without the need for a pen and paper. nine0003

Butterfly method

Sometimes working with fractions can be quite a hassle.

To add or subtract fractions, you need a common denominator. To skip this step, use the butterfly method. With a little practice, you can do it in your mind!

Example: 3/4 + 2/5

First cross multiplication: 3 x 5 = 15 and 4 x 2 = 8

Now add the numbers together to get the final numerator: 15 + 8 = 23

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

So 3/4 + 2/5 = 23/20

You can also use this technique to divide fractions.

No need for a calculator! Source: Unsplash

How to multiply by 11?

Nothing could be easier.

Here's an example: to multiply 32 by 11, you need to multiply 32 by 10 and then add 32 to the result. So: 320 + 32 = 352.

Do you know what the second technique is? It is really very easy to calculate in the mind. nine0003

For the same example: 32 x 11, all you need to do is add the two digits of the first number and put the result between them.

That is, 3 + 2 = 5, put the result (5) between 3 and 2 and get: 352!

Or another example: 56 x 11. The solution is simple: 5 + 6 = 11, put one between 5 and 6 and add the second one to the five. We get: 616.

Another tip on how to improve your computing skills

  • Before you calculate something, simplify your task. For example, 1.2 / 1.8 = 12 / 18 = 120 / 180
  • Numbers that add up to 10, group together to make further calculations easier: 1 + 9, 2 + 8, 3 + 7, etc. by 10, 20, or 30 and subtract or add at the end 1
  • Dividing by a number is the same as multiplying by its inverted fraction
  • To add two fractions, reduce them to a common denominator

Here are some more tips !

Online resources for improving mental arithmetic

There are many resources to get better at math and mental arithmetic. Anything you can find online about this topic will be a great addition to your tutoring sessions.

There are many sites where you can find tests, exercises and quizzes. Here are a few of them:

  • Khan Academy: here you will find video lessons, as well as practical tasks
  • internet lesson: library of school curriculum video lessons, notes, tests, simulators
  • math simulators for any class

When you enjoy the exercises, you don't even notice how you learn.

In our opinion, if you want to master mathematics and, in particular, mental arithmetic, it is very important to memorize a lot: you must learn formulas and multiplication tables. Repeat them from time to time.

Train your brain to make mental calculations easy and natural for you. nine0003

You can use different strategies to train your brain so that in the end everything becomes easy.

All this, of course, requires time and personal involvement, but the result is worth it - the resulting mathematical reflexes will remain with you for life.

Use games to practice counting

Math problems are common among schoolchildren. Lack of mental arithmetic practice can negatively affect their future. A 2014 study found that 40% of elementary school students have problems with math. nine0003

The study also showed that the most problematic tasks in elementary school are the study of the multiplication table, division, decimal fractions and working with large numbers.

Based on these data, new methods for teaching mathematics have been developed, and they usually include mental arithmetic. It consists of:

  • Reflex training,
  • Development of logical thinking,
  • Getting used to working with numbers,
  • Studying the properties of numbers. nine0036

To help children progress in mental arithmetic, you must make sure they enjoy the practice. You have to study so that there is interest! This is a great way to fall in love and learn to count.

Keep learning with pleasure

Learning should be progressive. Games are a good way to learn how to count, but for more serious success, you will need an online math tutor.

Today, every student has access to technology, which means that you can find a huge number of applications and games to develop mathematical abilities. nine0003

Downloading apps has become such a familiar and mundane process, so why not use this opportunity to your advantage? Just type in "math games" in your AppStore or GooglePlay and you will see that the list of suitable programs is really huge!

Of course, as a parent, you may be opposed to your child spending all day in front of a mobile phone. But why not go from the opposite side: let him play on the phone only if it will be useful games? Or limit the time you use your smartphone or tablet to, say, 20 minutes a day, and leave only math apps out of the allowed apps. You do not need to say that this is for study - let the child perceive it as a game! nine0003

World champions in mental arithmetic

Despite the fact that mathematical geniuses are rare, we still have to tell you about the most interesting cases - the world champions in mental calculations.

Such ideas show how far people can go in brain training and how much they can improve their abilities and memory. Here is a list of these talented mathematicians.

What do they have in common? High IQ, of course, and, most importantly, incredible mental arithmetic abilities. nine0003

Rüdiger Gamm

This calculator man only became interested in mathematics at the age of 20. Even though he always had a good memory for numbers, he was not very good at math at school. But through mental arithmetic, he learned special techniques for calculating in his mind. Now he can raise two-digit numbers to the power of 15, divide and multiply complex numbers in just a few seconds.

Learn more