Math Tips and Observations

math magician

Having completed many math appointments recently I have been recalling some of the many different math tips and tricks that I have learned over the years that make understanding some concepts much easier.
These are not MIND BLOWING tips and tricks but little things that perhaps people have forgotten or never were shown.
I have come across 4 of them recently and thought why not be helpful and post some math reminders!


1) Removing the Zeros

20 x 2800

This can be used when mental math is needed….that thing without using a calculator or iPhone.

Trying to find the solution of 20 x 2800 off the top of your head seems to most people impossible, and I agree. How about finding the solution to 2 x 28? These two questions are the exact same.
To solve 20 x 2800 remove all the zeros. When we do this we have removed 3 zeros and the question is now 2 x 28. This new questions solution is 56.

Since we removed 3 zeros from the question to make it easier we simply have to put them back, but now we are placing them on the end of the solution.

2 x 28 = 56

20 x 2800 = 56000

2) Invisible 1’s

The number 5 can be written many ways and still be the exact same. Again there is no trick, but simply a review of the many ways we can write a number

5 = 5.0 = (5) = 5.000000 = 5/1 =  51 = -(-5) = 0.05 x 102

There are many other ways but 5/1 and 51 for students going through skill review are very important.


3) Exponents and Square Roots

This is just a helpful calculator post for those students that are unaware of how to the 256 or how to punch in 312 in their calculator or phones.




BUTTON 3,4 : 12





BUTON 3,4,5 : 256


4) Order of Operations Rewritten

When trying to solve the ‘x’  using the order of operations or BEDMAS (reverse BEDMAS, SAM DEB) rules there are helpful ways you can rewrite the equations to give a better visualization of what steps need to be done or eliminated next.

Rewrite Division

When given a question like:

(32 – 7x)

(4 +82)3

If we rewrite the fraction to be a division question; it seems easier to see when steps should be completed.

(32 – 7x) ÷ (4 +82)3


Include Brackets

When we see 8x hopefully we can translate that it means 8 multiplied by the unknown value that is being represented by x.
If we cannot, use brackets to remind us that the 8 is being multiplied by x.

8x = (8)(x) = (8) x (x)

By writing the expression this way it will hopefully remind you that these two things are being multiplied together. Eventually you should drop the brackets to return back to proper mathematical form; but if it helps continue to write it this way until you feel comfortable.



Hope these helped refresh your mathematics skills. If you already knew these skills/tricks, great! If you didn’t, hopefully they aided and not confused you.