5 Smart Tricks To Improve Mental Math Ability

Mar 17, 2021

Mental math is all about solving easy to hard and tricky mathematical questions fast and without using any pen-paper. The entire calculation is to be done in someone’s head. Students are generally afraid of mental math and they are prone to spend more time in these. Before understanding the mental math tricks, students have to understand that:

  • Mental maths questions are basically easy
  • No matter how complex the question looks like, it will not need any calculator or pen-paper 

The candidates can follow simple strategies to make the question look easier – for this they simply need to unveil its complex part. Now, let’s directly move on to the tricks to improve mental math ability:

Include a Zero (0) 

To make any question easy, the simplest trick is to convert the unit digit of any number into a zero. For example, the problem is 522 + 150. 

To solve this question, consider it as 530 + 130 = 660. In order to make 522 into 530, we added 8 to 522. Now, we have to deduct this 8 from the answer obtained sum. After subtracting, the sum becomes 660 – 8 =652 which is the correct answer. 

Interchange the Sides for Simplifications

For simplifications, get the answer to the blank easily and fast by interchanging the sides. For example, the problem is 290 - ___ = 140. 

Candidates often make a wild guess for these types of questions, but the right way to answer this question is to interchange the values of both sides. The target should be bringing all the numbers on the left side of the ‘=’ sign and take the blank on the right side of ‘=’.

After doing this the problem looks like, 290 – 140 = ___, and the answer will be 150. However, this calculation has to be done without any pen and paper calculation. 

Apply the 9 Trick

A number of mental maths questions, especially, in addition, include a 9. To make that problem easier, the easiest way is to consider this as a 10. 

For example, 9 + 8 = __. 

After applying the trick, 9 becomes 10 and as we have added 1 to 9, we have to deduct 1 from the other digit or 8. Now, this problem looks like 10 + 7 = 17 and this is the answer for 9 + 8. 

Let’s take another example, 9 + 5 = __.

Here, we will consider 9 as 10 and deduct this extra 1 from 5. It will look like 10 + 4 and the answer will be 14. 

Use the Sum of Small Number While Adding the Bigger Numbers

If you know the sum of smaller digits, you can always apply this while adding a bigger number having these same digits. 

For example, 8 +9 = 17, and by applying this rule, it will be easier to find out the value of 80 + 90, 800 + 900. In these cases, only 0 or 00 will follow the sum of 8 and 9. Like 80 + 90 will be 170 and 800 + 900 will be 1700 (only 0 and 00 added). 

Similarly, getting the sum of complex numbers like 38 + 9, 58+9 will be easier by using this same rule. Now, 38 mean 3 tens and 8, therefore 17 (the sum of 8 and 9) will be added to 3 tens or 30. The answer will be 30 + 17 = 47. 58 mean 5 tens and 8 and the answer will be 50 +17 = 67. 

Easy 5 Times of a Number

The easiest method of getting the 5 times of a number without using any table is 

  • Obtain 10 times of the number 
  • Half this number

For example, 37 x 5 = ___, now we do not know the table of 37. By following the rule mentioned here, we have to get the 10 times of 37. For this all we need to plug a zero after the given number. So, 10 times 37 is 370. 

The final step is getting its half to get the 5 times of it. So the function is 370 / 2 = 185. 


There are many more tricks to solve mental math problems easily. Students can get in touch with the math tutors to learn these tricks and apply these tricks while answering the questions. These mental math tricks will not only help the students to answer these questions faster, but these tricks will sharpen the calculation skills of the students. So, register with us now and book a math tutor to understand mental math easily and solve the problems faster.


Mental math comes with a number of tricky questions and by following these secret tips, students can solve the mental math problems faster. 


Rachita writes for the blogs for MyPrivateTutor Indonesia. She works as a senior content editor. From her post-graduation days, she is in content writing. Music is her all-time mate and in her free time, she takes online lessons on Spanish guitar. 

Related Posts