Preparation
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There are various strategies that can be employed to master your times tables. In this guide, weâ€™ll consider a general strategy as well as some specifics for each times table.
You should look up multiplication grids and become familiar with them. Quite quickly, youâ€™ll notice that there are some repetitions. Essentially, the grid is divided diagonally by the square numbers – thatâ€™s the numbers 1,4,9,16,25,36,49,64,81, and 100. On either side of this diagonal line, the numbers are the same. If youâ€™re a very visual learner, this can be a very handy way of remembering an entire set of times tables. Remember also that the 10X table is just the 10s in order, whilst the 9 times table has the 10s increasing by 1 each time whilst the units decrease by 1 each time – e.g. 27 is followed by 36, and 54 followed by 63.
The two times table is very simple – almost as simple as the one times table! To think about whether a number is in the two times table, just consider whether it is even or not. An even number is one that can be divided by two and not leave a remainder. If a number therefore ends in any of 0,2,4,6,8 then it is in the two times table. Remember also that multiplying by two is the same as â€˜doublingâ€™ a number and that dividing a number by two is the same as â€˜halvingâ€™ it.
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The best trick for the three times table is using the digit sum of a number. Essentially, if you need to know whether a number is in the three times table, you must add up all of its digits. If the sum of the digits is 3,6, or 9, then itâ€™s in the three times table. Letâ€™s look at some examples:
18 is in the three times table as 1+8 = 9
144 is in the three times table as 1+4+4 = 9
12 is in the three times table as 1+2 = 3
17 is NOT in the three times table as 1+7 = 8.
You can do this for much larger numbers too. Think about the number 159. This adds up to 15. You can then break this down further: 1+5 = 6.
All numbers in the 4X table are even. They end with 0,2,4,6, or 8. To work out a number in the four times table, you can double the number twice. E.g. 8 * 4 is the same as 8 * 2 * 2 = 16 * 2 = 32.
All multiples of five end in either 0 or 5. If it doesnâ€™t end in a 0 or 5, itâ€™s not in the 5X table! When looking to find out what a specific number is when multiplied by 5, thereâ€™s a simple workaround – you can multiply it by ten, and then halve it. As an example, 423 * 5 could be done by 423 * 10 = 4230, then divide by two to give 4115.
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