The 3 Best Practical Mental Math Tricks

Math, math, glorious math (or maths if you’re British). How mind-boggling, thrilling and rousing it is. Even if you’re not a ‘numbers person’ you have to admit that it’s pretty perplexing in a seductive sort of way – with or without any background knowledge or math intelligence. 

If you’re looking to up your math game and improve your skills, then you should stick around to uncover the 3 mental math tricks we’re about to share with you. Math-phobic or avid number fan, these tricks are for you. 

Working Out Salary 

Many of us are paid an hourly rate and it can often be difficult to calculate how this would convert to an annual salary. So, if you want to work out your annual salary (assuming you work 40 hours a week) then here’s a calculation you can easily do in your head, at anytime: 

  • 40 hours a week = 2,080 hours in a year
  • Take your hourly wage of £/$30 and multiply it by 2,080 
  • Multiply in chunks to make it easier
  • Your answer would be £/$62,400. 

Another way to do it (roughly) is to:

  1. Double your hourly wage 
  2. Add to that answer three zeros
  3. Get your answer. 

An example would be: 

  1. £/$30 an hour doubled is £/$60 
  2. Add three zeros to give you £/60000
  3. Annual salary is £/$60000.

Multiply In Your Head 

If multiplying in your head sends shivers down your spine, it may be comforting to know that you’re not alone. Multiplying on paper is a lot easier, however there is a nifty trick you can use to do it all in your head. 

Multiplying In Parts 

Here’s how: 

  1. Take your multiplication of say 53 x 6
  2. Multiply 50 x 6 first to give you 300
  3. Now multiply 3 x 6 to give you 18
  4. Add 300 to 18 to give you 318.  There’s your answer! 

Another example: 

  1. Looking for the answer to 6 x 312
  2. 6 x 300 = 1800
  3. 6 x 12 = 72 
  4. 1800 + 72 = 1872.

Converting Miles To Km

Depending on who you ask, their age and where they’re from, they’ll either use kilometres or miles. Many older Brits use miles. 

So what’s the best way to convert miles to kms and vice versa?

How To Do It 

1 mile = 1.6 kilometres. 

And 5 miles = 8km (ish).

So, if you wanted to find out what 10 miles was in km, just double the km of 5 miles – 16km! It’s handy to remember what 5 miles equates to in km. And also remember that it isn’t exact, as 5 miles is actually 8.04672 km. 

For example 100 miles into kilometres: 

  1. Work out how many 5s in 100, which is 20  
  2. Multiply 20 by 8, which is 160
  3. Add a fraction of a km on for luck!

Which gets you to 160.something kilometres. 

Exact(ish) answer is 160.934.

Remember that these are rough guesstimates and to get an accurate answer then cheat and use a calculator/online convertor. 

If you’re looking to up your math game, try these 3 tricks. Not only will you be working on your math confidence levels, you’ll also be pushing your brain and its neuroplasticity further. Game, set, MATH. 

Maisie Bygraves

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