wikiHow to Improve Maths Calculation Skill

Establishing good basic calculation skills makes all areas of mathematics easier and quicker to complete. Calculating sums in your head can save vital time in exams, but it's not always easy to do those sums in your head. Don't get tensed and be in a hurry to solve these sums.

Steps

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    Start easy and take your time. Don't jump straight in there trying to work out what '235 x 958.7' equals, if you can do that you don't need to read this. Start with easier addition and subtraction questions, even if it is patronizing, make sure you can do them quickly.
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    Learn the multiplication tables and find the patterns in them. Knowing the patterns will make multiplication and division of larger numbers much simpler. Repeat these until you can recite them backwards and randomly at any time. Write up to the 12 times table every day once.
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    Visualize what you are doing. Whether you imagine writing the sum out, or count objects, visualizing the calculation can make it easier to solve.
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    Use your fingers. Learn to count to 99 on your fingers and then use this to "store" the numbers so you don't worry about forgetting about it while calculating a different part of the calculation.
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    Learn new techniques. There are a lot of these and they can make calculations much easier. Look on the internet or ask your teacher to see if there are any shortcut methods for the calculation (or part of the calculation) you are trying to do. Use the formulae and identities to speed up your work.
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    Practice regularly. Give yourself a few calculations to do each day, starting easy and gradually getting harder.
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    Don't give up. It will take the time to get good at calculations. Persevere and don't reach for the calculator too soon.
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    Challenge yourself. Once you can do the basics quickly and easily give yourself challenges. Stretch your abilities and aim to do the calculations as quickly and accurately as possible.
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    Don't be afraid to reach for a calculator to check your answer if you're unsure. There are very few non-exam/school situations where you will be required to work without a calculator and if you find you're getting them right this will help build confidence.

Tips

  • Perseverance is key. This will take practice, so don't give up too soon.
  • Always be confident on what you are doing.
  • Make sure you are thorough with all the formulae, using them saves the massive amount of time during examinations.
  • You should always check your answers to make sure have made no silly errors that you will look back on and think "I knew that!"
  • Do random calculations when you are free. The more practice you do, the more quickly you will work out the answer and improve your accuracy.
  • Every day practice is needed even in holidays for developing maths and staying in touch with formulas

Warnings

  • Don't depend on guides, approach your teacher or someone elder. Guides will spoil your decision-making skills. Also, elders and teachers will always tell you new tricks which are hard to find in a guide.

Article Info

Categories: Mathematics | Surviving Mathematics