Ways to Train Your Brain To Calculate Large Equations
By Kathleen Cantor, 03 Jul 2020
Mathematics has helped humans perform basic tasks since its inception. It helps us with finances, cooking and baking, problem-solving, and even time series forecasting.
However, none of these beat the fact that math improves our critical thinking skills, as well.
Just as your body needs physical exercise to perform well, the human brain needs mental training to function at its peak. Since the brain can be exercised using math, we can infer that mental math becomes more natural for those who exercise the brain. In this way, you can train your brain to better calculate equations, even the larger ones.
Simple Tricks to Help you Solve Large Math Equations
The following math tricks, when practiced regularly, can help you improve your brain. The more you train, the more you will gain! Eventually, you will find it easier to calculate large equations in any format.
1. Memorizing multiplication tables
This step is crucial to improving the ease of calculation, especially when using mental math. Basic multiplication equations are commonly the basis for larger equations. When you have memorized and mastered the basic multiplication table, simple problems can be solved without the help of a calculator. This includes division problems, as well.
Start off by memorizing multiplication involving numbers 1-12. You can then challenge yourself and try for numbers 13-20, and so on.
2. Memorizing the math building system
Decimals, fractions, and percentages are often grouped into what are considered the basics of mathematics. Having a solid foundation makes for a stronger house. The better you know your building blocks, the better you can solve larger equations quickly.
There are some fractions and decimals that have corresponding values that can be memorized for ease of calculation. Knowing how to find the percentage value is also handy. Just training your brain to remember a few of these can help you out a lot!
Here are some examples:
- ½ is a fraction, it’s decimal equivalent is 0.5, and its percentage, when multiplied by 100%, is 50%.
- 1/3 has a decimal value of 0.333..., and when multiplied by 100% gives 33.333…%
3. Breaking up larger addition problems
This an excellent math trick that can help your performance in solving large equations.
We are traditionally taught to add the entirety of numbers all at once, carrying-over values of 10 and up. This is great on pen and paper, but another technique could improve your mental math skills.
Instead of adding 85 to 33 all at once, start by calculating 80 + 30=110. Then add the leftovers of the original numbers, 5 + 3=8. When it’s all added together, your sum is 118.
4. The sweet rule of squares
Squares are your friend. This is because a square is a number multiplied by itself or the root. Memorizing squares and their roots gives you a significant advantage with large equations.
Some standard perfect squares and their roots include 9 and 3; 36 and 6; 144 and 12.
5. Simple multiplication tricks
Some basic multiplication tricks are mental math must-haves.
- When multiplying by 10, add a zero to the multiplicand, and you have your answer! Add two zeros when multiplying by 100 and three when it’s 1000.
- When multiplying by 5, the answer must always end in either a 0 or 5.
- When multiplying by 12, first multiply the multiplicand by 10. Then, multiply the multiplicand by 2. Add those two answers together.
- When multiplying by 15, multiply the number by 10, then add half of the product to it.
6. The division rule
Just like multiplication, simple division problems can be calculated easily with some tricks.
- When dividing any number by 10, introduce a decimal point by counting the number of zeros from the left side of the number. Example: 3,354 divided by 10 is 335.4. 50 divided by 100 is 0.5. 210 divided by 1,000 is 0.2.
- Any number that has zero or an even number as its last figure is divisible by 2.
- When dividing by 3, add up each figure in the number. If the sum can be divided by 3, then the number is divisible by 3 also. Example: 234 divided by 3. The sum of 2 + 3 + 4 = 9. Since 9 is divisible by 3, then 3 will divide 234 to give 78.
When these math tricks are part of your daily routine, your brain cells will activate and get their exercise in! Eventually, it will become easier to break down those larger equations.
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