Mathematics is crucial in our daily lives and careers, whether it’s calculating groceries or engineering projects, cooking recipes, or processing data. Learn various techniques to solve math problems quickly without relying on a calculator. Here are 13 practical tips and tricks to accelerate your calculations and make you better at math in 2024. These techniques will make you better at math in no time! After reading these, you will surely want to improve your math skills!

## 1. Understand the Basics to Get Better at Math

Understanding the foundational principles is key to becoming proficient in mathematics. By mastering the basics thoroughly, you pave the way for greater confidence and skill in tackling more complex mathematical concepts and problems.

### Importance of learning basic math concepts

Knowing basic mathematics is essential because it forms the foundation for dealing with more advanced concepts. Without a solid knowledge of these fundamentals, progressing to higher levels of maths can be daunting. However, once you have a firm understanding of the basics, your confidence in approaching more complex problems will naturally increase. This confidence is key to mastering mathematics effectively.

### Key Areas to Focus On

Stick to the basics—always. Here are some Key examples:

- What are the fundamental mathematical operations you should master first?

- Can you confidently handle addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division?

- Are you comfortable with these operations, forward and backward?

- If not, focus on mastering them before moving on to anything else.

### Addition and Subtraction in Math

Consistent practice is key to becoming better in basic math skills. Start with daily exercises in simple addition and subtraction to build a strong foundation. As you gain confidence, challenge yourself with increasingly complex problems. Using flashcards is a practical method to reinforce your learning and improve your speed.

### Multiplication and Division in Math

Multiplication and division are equally important. Memorise the multiplication tables, practise division problems, and remember: ‘You know what nine times eight is because eight times three, plus three times eight, makes 72.’ Understand the relationships between multiplication and division, and you will have mastered them.

### Resources for Mastering Basic Math Skills

There are plenty of free resources to help you master basic math skills. Khan Academy and MathisFun.com are good places to learn through tutorials and exercises. Additionally, there is a mobile app called Mathway that provides users with multiple-choice answers and detailed steps to help them solve problems

## 2. Practice Regularly to Get Better at Math

Regularly practicing math involves consistently engaging with problems, exercises, and concepts. This continual effort helps to reinforce understanding, improve problem-solving techniques, and boost confidence in mathematical abilities. By dedicating time to practice regularly, individuals can develop a strong foundation and become proficient in various mathematical skills and applications.

### Importance of Consistent Practice

Regular practice is essential for developing strong numerical skills, akin to the discipline required in mastering an instrument or a musical scale. Consistent engagement fosters a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and enhances overall fluency in maths.

### Selecting Dedicated Time for Math Practice

it’s beneficial to set aside specific times each day dedicated to practising math drills. By committing to two sessions lasting 20-30 minutes, you can steadily improve your skills over time. Consistency in practice is more important than the length of each session, ensuring steady progress in mastering mathematical concepts and problem-solving techniques.

### Creating a Schedule for Math Practice

Create a personalised schedule that aligns with your daily routine. Dedicate specific days of the week to different mathematical topics. Start with basic operations on Mondays to build foundational skills, explore geometry on Wednesdays to explore shapes and measurements, and tackle algebra on Fridays to strengthen problem-solving abilities with equations and variables.

### Recommended Math Practice Exercises

Start by working within your comfort zone and gradually increase the challenge. Broaden your practice to handle a diverse range of problems, including word problems, equations, and real-world applications.

### Utilizing Math Workbooks

Math workbooks provide structured practice, offering chapters dedicated to related problems alongside detailed explanations and solutions. Select workbooks suited to your skill level and work through them systematically for effective learning.

### Online Math Practice Resources

Many websites and apps currently offer math practice assignments. For example, websites like IXL and Prodigy adapt problems to your ability level as you work through them. Apps such as Photomath use your device’s camera to solve problems for you and provide step-by-step explanations.

### Tracking Progress

Sometimes it’s good to keep track of your progress for motivation. Try using a journal or app to note what you’re practising in each session. Keep track over time to see how much you’re improving and which topics are more challenging for you.

## 3. Use Online Resources to Get Better at Math

Utilize the power of online resources to enhance your mathematical skills. Explore interactive tutorials, practice exercises, and problem-solving tools tailored to various skill levels. Embrace the convenience of learning anytime, anywhere, and make significant strides in mastering mathematics.

### Websites and Apps for Math Practice and Tutorials

If you want to spend time preparing for maths, there are hundreds of websites and even more apps to help you with that. Khan Academy and Mathway offer free resources. Other apps like Photomath and Brilliant provide interactive learning experiences and digital tutorials with step-by-step solutions.

### Interactive Tools and Games for Learning Math

Interactive tools and games also make learning fun and meaningful. For example, websites like Coolmath Games and Math Playground offer games that have helped me learn maths. These games allow you to immerse yourself in challenges where your speed in providing correct answers determines whether you sink or swim.

### Add Online Resources to Your Study Routine

**Use Technology in Day-to-Day Study Habits**: Choose a different website, app, or game for each study session, and set a goal for each — whether it’s mastering a concept or completing a certain number of practice problems.

**Creating a Balanced Study Plan**: I strongly encourage all students to balance their study agenda by mixing online and traditional study materials, solving daily problems on their desktop or mobile (using an app), and working on textbook or worksheet problems offline.

### Utilizing Online Communities

Connect with other learners in online maths communities and forums. There are some excellent maths forums available. My favourite is Stack Exchange. Reddit also hosts a good maths forum, and other online maths communities discuss a wide variety of topics. If you need help, there’s probably someone on the other end who can assist. Ask questions. Explore recommended maths books. A list of problem-solving books and less fanous sites offering useful resources can be a great starting point.

## 4. Break Down Complex Problems to Get Better at Math

Breaking down complex math problems involves systematically analyzing and simplifying each component of the problem. By dissecting the problem into smaller, manageable steps, you can approach each part methodically, identify key concepts or operations required, and apply appropriate strategies to solve them. This method not only helps in understanding the problem better but also builds confidence in tackling more challenging mathematical problems overall. It’s a fundamental approach to improving problem-solving skills in mathematics.

### Techniques for Simplifying Complex Problems

One of the best methods is to break down the problem into manageable, single-step tasks. Start by identifying the core components of your problem, then proceed to solve them one at a time. This incremental approach allows you to build your solution systematically while keeping your mind organised and focused

### Step-by-Step Problem-Solving Method

For more complex problems, follow these steps:

- Understand the problem and what is being asked.

- Gather all relevant information and determine the necessary operations.

- Solve each part step-by-step, checking your work as you go and moving on to the next step.

### Identifying Key Information

Take information from the problem and jot it down in notes. Underline or highlight key numbers, variables, and operations. This helps you focus on the relevant parts and prevents your memory from becoming overloaded.

### Examples of Simplifying Tough Math Problems

Now, let’s consider a multi-step algebra problem. Apply the strategy of isolating the variable on one side of the equation first. Design a sequence of operations that will allow you to work towards that goal in small, manageable steps. For example, to start, you might need to add or subtract one or more terms, and then proceed with multiplication or division as the next operation. In essence, break down each component operation and solve each of these sub-problems in sequence.

### Effective Strategies for Math Word Problems

Even with word problems, use the same step-by-step approach. Read the problems carefully, determine what you’re being asked, note down any relevant information provided, translate words into mathematical operations, and then solve each step methodically.

### Using Visual Aids

It can also help to draw diagrams, graphs, or charts to break down the problem and clarify the relationships between the various elements needed to find a solution.

### Practicing with Real-Life Examples

Try breaking down large, real-life problems into smaller ones using examples from your own life (like budgeting, planning a trip, or cooking a recipe). This approach will greatly enhance how you apply math in everyday situations and reinforce your problem-solving skills.

## 5. Learn From Mistakes to Get Better at Math

Learning from mistakes in maths involves analysing errors to understand their causes and correcting them methodically. It’s about identifying where misunderstandings or miscalculations occurred, reflecting on why they happened, and revisiting the correct approach to reinforce learning and prevent future errors. This reflective practice enhances problem-solving skills and builds a stronger grasp of mathematical concepts over time.

### Importance of Analysing and Understanding Errors

Mistakes are your friends in maths, offering valuable insights to correct misconceptions and learn. Evaluate each incorrect answer thoroughly, reviewing what went wrong before moving on.

### Strategies for Learning from Mistakes

Formulate plans to learn from your mistakes. When you make an error, isolate the step that led to it and understand why. Then, practise similar problems to reinforce the correct approach and prevent the mistake from happening again.

### Math Journal for Tracking Progress and Improvement

Keeping a math journal helps track progress and identifies areas of challenge. Note which problems tripped you up and where mistakes were made. Document the correct solutions on the following page. Review these entries to see your growth and identify persistent challenges.

## 6. Seek Help When Needed to Get Better at Math

Seeking help when needed is crucial for improving in math. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek guidance from teachers, tutors, or peers. They can offer insights, clarify concepts, and provide strategies to overcome difficulties. Collaboration and seeking help ensure you stay on track and understand math concepts more effectively.

### When and How to Ask for Help

Recognise when you are stuck and what to do to get unstuck. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you find you just can’t grasp a particular concept, ask for assistance. Specify what you find troublesome and seek specific help.

### Utilising Teachers, Tutors, and Study Groups

You can get a final explanation from your teacher or a tutor. Perhaps you have a study group at school with other children. You can study with them or ask them about a problem.

### Online Forums and Communities for Math Support

There are plenty of online forums where one can find human and social support, as well as answers to maths questions. These range from the Reddit community and Stack Exchange (which has several different sections) to highly specialised maths forums. These forums often feature experts, including professional mathematicians interested in teaching and helping beginners, who can provide various tips and answers.

## 7. Relate Math to Real-Life Situations to Get Better

Relating math to real-life situations involves connecting mathematical concepts, principles, and problem-solving skills to everyday scenarios or practical applications. This approach not only enhances understanding but also demonstrates the relevance of mathematics in various aspects of life.

### Examples of Math Applications in Everyday Life

However, there are plenty of opportunities to use math in real-world contexts, such as budgeting, cooking, or shopping. Calculating a discount, measuring an ingredient, or planning the cost of a shopping trip all involve basic math skills. The more people see these as useful applications of math, the easier and more natural it becomes.

### Projects and Activities Show Practical Uses of Math

Support students’ efforts to work on projects that involve practical applications of math, such as creating a model, planning a trip, or developing a game, which encourages them to apply math in real-world settings.

### Relating math to everyday situations Enhance understanding

Give things an application or relate them to something real. But here’s the thing: without context, mathematics might make sense, but it doesn’t feel real. The more students can relate math not just to itself, but see it as a tool or something relevant, the better they understand, remember, and apply it.

### Adding Math into Daily Tasks

Find ways to incorporate maths into daily routines, such as calculating grocery costs or using garden work to measure distances and areas more accurately. Even asking and solving maths problems can gradually increase practice.

### Using Technology for Real-Life Math Applications

Use technology to explore math in practical contexts. Apps and software designed for budgeting, baking cakes, or constructing houses often rely on fundamental math skills, yet many users can operate them without fully understanding the underlying mathematics. Experimenting with these tools can be a fun and enlightening way to make math more meaningful.

### Collaborating on Math Projects

Work together on a maths project. Whether you’re planning a community event, organising a school trip, or creating a budget, collaborative activities apply maths to a real situation and allow you to benefit from your peers’ insights.

### Exploring Math in Career Fields

Consider how maths is applied in a career field that interests you. Many careers use maths to solve real-world problems. For instance, engineers apply maths to construct and test structures, architects use it to design buildings, financiers work with money using maths, and healthcare providers ensure good health through mathematical applications. Reflecting on these careers can be inspiring and also give you an idea of the career advantages that come with strong maths skills.

## 8. Use Visual Aids and Tools to Get Better at Math

Discover the power of using visual aids such as as graphs, charts, and diagrams and a variety of tools to help you understand and improve your abilities in mathematics. By integrating visual representations and practical tools into your learning process, you can gain a clearer grasp of mathematical concepts and develop stronger problem-solving skills.

### Benefits of Visual Aids Like Graphs, Charts, and Diagrams

Visual aids such as graphs, charts, and diagrams are useful for understanding complex issues as they provide a visual representation of concepts. Diagrams illustrate relationships and patterns in data and mathematical concepts that might not be obvious when interpreting numbers through text-based problems.

### Tools for Studying Maths

Let’s look at some tools used to study maths. There are many tools for learning maths, such as calculators, which are used to perform calculations faster and more accurately. Geometry sets are used to draw or measure shapes. Another tool is maths software, such as GeoGebra and Desmos, which help students interactively explore mathematical ideas.

### Adding Visual Aids to Study Sessions

Make your homework sessions more interactive and interesting by using graphs to illustrate functions, charts to summarise data, and diagrams to depict geometric theorems and propositions.

### Using Diagrams to Solve Math Problems

Diagram or sketch the problem – draw a picture of what you’re trying to understand. This can help break down a complicated problem into a clearer concept. Seeing a visual representation of specific problems can clarify your understanding and guide you through the solution process. If you’re stuck on a geometry problem or a word problem, drawing a picture may be very helpful.

### Online Tools to Solve Math Problems

Websites like Desmos provide an opportunity to build detailed graphs of mathematical functions and explore myriad algebra and calculus concepts. For visual learners, they offer a chance to reinforce understanding.

### Creating Mind Maps in Math

Another effective visual aid is mind maps. Mind maps help you organise information and show relationships between ideas. Using mind maps for algebra, geometry, or calculus can greatly enhance your understanding of these topics.

Learn more about Maths Functional Skills

## 9. Stay Positive and Persistent to get Better at Math

Maintaining a positive attitude and persistence is key to improving your math skills. By staying optimistic and dedicated, you can tackle challenges more effectively, build confidence, and ultimately achieve greater success in mathematics.

### Importance of a Positive Mindset

Test anxiety significantly decreases when you receive positive messages assuming you will excel in math. Yore et al. concluded that math self-concepts are more resilient than general self-concepts to low math achievement. This is crucial because feeling confident about oneself strongly motivates sustained effort and success. High self-efficacy fosters greater persistence in mastering mathematical concepts despite challenges.

### Overcoming Math Anxiety

Anxiety also impacts learning in mathematics. The science of stress indicates that it is possible, through practice, to reduce or even avoid the negative effects of math anxiety by employing relaxation techniques (e.g., deep breathing and positive visualisation). Managing these stress hormones positively affects learning. As children progressively feel capable, they can overcome their math anxiety and begin to comprehend concepts that previously seemed impossible. Learning to ‘breathe through’ math problems is one effective strategy; moving from mastering and celebrating simpler problems to tackling more challenging yet achievable ones, with ongoing encouragement and support, is another. With each success, children become more confident and better prepared to face increasingly difficult challenges.

### Encouragement to Keep Trying Despite Challenges

Learning maths involves pushing through times when progress seems slow and times when you grow quickly, understanding that mistakes are part of the journey. It’s important to set achievable goals and reward yourself when you reach them. Having a growth mindset means seeing value in every mistake: they’re necessary because your brain has to combine thousands of separate memories into new ways of thinking.

### Seeking Inspiration

Be inspired by success stories of celebrities who have overcome the fear of maths. Read or watch videos about mathematicians or scientists who can motivate you to push your limits.

### Joining Supportive Communities

Connect with communities of encouragement – both online and offline – and share your progress or express your feelings along the way. Study groups, maths clubs, and discussion forums can help you crowdsource motivation and alleviate any feelings of loneliness.

### Setting Small Goals

Set small goals, always checking your progress. Break big commitments into smaller tasks. Achieving these small goals keeps you motivated, moment by moment. As you complete these steps, you gain momentum towards achieving your bigger dreams.

## 10. Explore Different Learning Methods to Get Better at Math

Discover various approaches to improve your math skills. By exploring different learning methods, you can find what works best for you, whether it’s visual aids, interactive apps, or group study sessions. Each method offers unique advantages to enhance your understanding and proficiency in mathematics.

### Different Approaches to Learning Math (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic)

We all learn in different ways. Some people are visual learners who prefer to see diagrams and charts, while others are auditory learners who prefer listening to explanations. Some are kinesthetic learners who learn best by getting hands-on. Experimenting with different methods helps you discover what works best for you.

### Finding the Method That Works Best For You

Experiment with different learning styles to discover what suits you best. Watch how-to videos, use manipulatives, or participate in discussions. Understanding your learning style can make your study more efficient and enjoyable.

### Mixing Various Methods Methods for Better Learning

When you combine different learning modalities, you gain a better grasp of the topic. These methods include: sensory-based learning, which provides an overview of the structure; auditory learning, which uses listening to clarify confusion; and affective learning, through hands-on activities that make lessons more practical. This holistic approach accommodates all learning styles.

### Utilizing Educational Videos and Podcasts

There are various perspectives and explanations provided in educational presentations such as video clips and podcasts. In addition to textbooks, teachers are utilising websites to upload specific lessons that interpret such material. Numerous maths tutorial clips are available on YouTube and educational websites for students to watch and understand. Most of these videos are freely accessible to students.

### Interactive and Hands-On Learning

Enhance the learning experience by incorporating hands-on activities. Math manipulatives, math games, and math experiments can all enrich this approach, providing engaging and interactive learning opportunities.

### Adaptive Learning Technology

Seek out adaptive learning technology that customises your lessons based on your progress. Many apps and online learning platforms, such as the Khan Academy, utilise adaptive technology to provide a personalised learning experience and help you concentrate on areas where you need improvement.

### Reflecting on Learning Progress

Monitor your learning process and adjust your methods as you discover what works and what doesn’t. Keeping a journal or discussing your progress with a tutor or study group enables you to track your successes and failures, allowing you to refine your approach as you go.

## 11. Understand the Concept of Math to Get Better at Math

To improve in math, it’s essential to grasp the underlying concepts. Understanding the fundamental principles and logic behind mathematical concepts enables you to approach problems more effectively and confidently. This foundational understanding forms the basis for solving complex equations, applying mathematical techniques, and achieving proficiency in mathematics.

### Importance of Understanding the Concepts Behind Math

To comprehend subtraction, multiplication, and other fundamental processes, one must deeply understand how and why these processes work. When students grasp the reasons behind a procedure, true comprehension occurs, enabling them to apply the method in various contexts and eliminating the need for rote memorisation.

### Methods for Understanding Math Concepts Better

Go deeper into the math problem to understand its reasoning by asking: ‘Why does this work? How does this make sense? What’s the logic behind this method?Break problems down into their parts. Think about different ways to handle these parts and how they fit together.

### Using Analogies and Real-Life Examples

Pictures and real-world examples can make even the most abstract concepts tangible. Common sense links itself to mathematical problems through everyday life examples. Concepts such as mathematical models can be easily understood. Start by abstracting the concept from specific applications and giving it a name. Once the general model is established, people are more likely to explore its applications.

### Resources for Exploring the Theory Behind Math

There are books, online courses, and educational websites that deepen your understanding of how maths works: from assembling pipes (useful in studying chemistry and mathematics) to standard methods for solving long division, trigonometric equations, and more. Immersing yourself in such material repeatedly and truly understanding it will eliminate fear. Many well-written theory books cover important mathematical concepts. Additionally, websites like Khan Academy and Coursera provide detailed explanations and step-by-step lessons for each problem.

### Engaging in Discussions

Discuss the ideas behind math problems with teachers, tutors, or peers. Explaining concepts to others helps reinforce understanding and gain clarity on new ideas.

### 12. Work on Mental Math Skills to Get better at Math

Developing strong mental math skills is key to improving in mathematics. By practising mental calculations regularly, you can enhance your ability to solve problems quickly and accurately without relying heavily on external aids like calculators. This not only builds confidence but also strengthens your foundational understanding of mathematical concepts, making learning and applying math easier in various real-life situations.

### Benefits of Strong Mental Math Abilities

Good mental math is integral to your overall mathematical ability. It enables you to manipulate numbers in your mind, whether for everyday calculations or solving complex maths problems.

### Tips and Tricks for Improving Mental Math

To improve mental math skills, practice specific techniques. Consider strategies like using shortcuts and tricks, breaking problems into smaller parts, and estimating. Regular practice helps these techniques become quicker to apply and internalises them until they become second nature.

### Exercises to Practice Mental Math

Use daily exercises to practise mental maths. Spend 10 or 15 minutes on simple calculations in your head. Play with flashcards, numerical games, and applications to make practice a fun experience.

### Using Real-Life Scenarios

Apply mental maths in real-world situations, such as calculating tips at restaurants, estimating totals while shopping, or working out time differences. Using your mental arithmetic skills in practical contexts makes learning more relevant.

### Challenging Yourself

Practice these calculations regularly and you’ll notice your brain starting to adapt. Choose operations you’re comfortable with and begin with simple arithmetic, such as 4 x 997 + 97 = ?, and increase your speed. If you find something challenging, note it down and revisit it another day, aiming to go a bit faster next time. A minute or two of this every few days will soon improve your skill and speed in handling simpler sums. When encountering more complex arithmetic or new symbols in proofs, take time to contemplate them before proceeding. Challenge yourself with more of these tasks. As you practice regularly, your brain will begin to adjust. Listen to it when it does – at least occasionally.

## 13. Take Advantage of Technology to Get Better at Math

Utilize technology to enhance your math skills. Explore interactive apps, online tutorials, and mathematical software like GeoGebra or Desmos. These tools provide visual aids, step-by-step solutions, and interactive learning experiences that can deepen your understanding and improve your proficiency in mathematics. Embracing technology can make learning math more engaging and accessible, helping you to grasp complex concepts and solve problems more effectively.

### Math Software and Apps That Can Help Learning

Math software and apps offer an interactive and engaging approach to learning. GeoGebra, Desmos, WolframAlpha, and many other tools serve as excellent platforms for exploring and understanding mathematics. Our work aligns with these principles and extends beyond. Some refer to this as educational technology (EdTech).

### Using Educational Videos and Online Courses

The addition of audio and video in educational tutorials and courses is a valuable enhancement of educational materials. These multimedia resources help students fully understand the subject and can provide support for topics that weren’t fully covered during classroom learning.

### Technology Makes Math More Accessible and Engaging

Technology makes learning math easier by providing a variety of tools and resources that cater to different learning styles. These tools engage learners by allowing them to apply what they’ve learned through interactive simulations, educational games, and virtual manipulatives. Beyond tools and resources, technology supports a personalized learning experience tailored to individual learner needs.

### Add Apps into Math Routines

Practice math problems daily. Keep a laptop, tablet, or phone handy from the moment you wake up to solve practice problems, review concepts, or learn new lessons. Using apps like Photomath or Brilliant provides step-by-step solutions and explanations.

### Participating in Online Math Communities

Explore online math communities and forums to engage with fellow students learning mathematics. Whether on Reddit or Stack Exchange, these informal platforms offer places to ask questions, find math resources, and participate in discussions about math. Interacting with these communities not only improves learning but also fosters accountability.

### Exploring Virtual Math Labs

You can explore math labs online through interactive web environments or software. These platforms allow you to simulate lab experiences and manipulate variables in real-time, sometimes down to the sub-pixel level. This hands-on approach helps you understand how changes affect outcomes, providing a clearer grasp of concepts and grounding you in practical understanding.

### Using Adaptive Learning Technology

Master a topic with adaptive learning, where the difficulty level adjusts to your pace. Adaptive learning technology aligns the complexity of problems you solve with your learning needs. Your responses are recorded, and the machine learning integrated into every app and website continues to tailor the lessons you receive, assisting you in overcoming the most challenging obstacles.

## Conclusion

To improve your math skills effectively, follow these steps. Understand and master the fundamental principles and rules of mathematics as your foundation. Practice math consistently every day, solving problems, reviewing concepts, and reinforcing your understanding. Use online instructional videos to supplement your learning, gaining visual explanations and different perspectives on complex topics. Maintain patience throughout your learning journey, understanding that progress takes time and effort. By dedicating yourself to these steps over several years, you can significantly enhance your math proficiency and achieve your goals by 2024. These steps form a structured approach that builds upon itself, fostering continuous improvement and a deeper understanding of mathematics.