Learning multiplication tables is an essential part of children's math. The process takes a while, but with a few tips and tricks in addition to practice, you can master them. Once you memorize the times tables, learn to work them out more quickly so that the numbers come to you. Some times tables are simpler than others, but many have helpful hints that make them easy to learn.
Method 1 of 3: Starting from the Basics
Step 1. Learn one times tables at a time
Start with the simpler ones like 2, 10, 5, and 11. When you learn the more difficult ones, like 7 and 8, you'll already know several.
Remember that 1 x 4 is the same as 4 x 1, so you only need to learn half of the times tables as the other will just be written differently
Step 2. Take it easy
It is not necessary to sit down and learn all the times tables at once. In fact, that would be the worst way. Choose a multiplication table and focus only on it. Take your time to master each one before moving on to the next.
- Spend 15-20 minutes a day studying cards or playing math games to master each times tables.
- There are many different themed multiplication games that can be found online. For example, if you are very fond of dinosaurs, find a game that uses these animals to make studying more fun.
Step 3. Ask family members to ask questions about the multiplication table
After you've studied enough to know it well, ask them to ask you multiplications for the multiplication tables you just learned. That way you'll remember it in the long run and keep the numbers fresh in your memory.
After memorizing all the times tables, ask people to ask about all the numbers, not just one at a time
Method 2 of 3: Learning Some Tricks
Step 1. Know that any number multiplied by zero is just zero
The times table for zero is the easiest, as every number multiplied by it gives 0.
For example, 0 x 1 = 0, 0 x 5 = 0, 0 x 8 = 0, etc
Step 2. Recognize that any number multiplied by 1 equals itself
The 1 times tables are easy to learn because when you multiply a number by 1, the result is equal to that number. Remember that the exception is zero.
For example: 1 x 2 = 2, 1 x 4 = 4, 1 x 7 = 7, etc
Step 3. Add the number yourself to the multiplication table for 2
When learning the number 2 times tables, you can see that the number being multiplied is just added to itself. Instead of memorizing them all, just add the number to itself and you've learned the multiplication table for number 2!
- For example, 2 x 4 = 8, but 4 + 4 = 8.
- The same goes for all other numbers: 2 x 3 = 6 (3 +3 = 6), 2 x 5 = 10 (5 + 5 = 10), etc.
Step 4. Identify the pattern of the multiplication table of 5
The last digit of the product ends in either 5 or 0. The pattern starts with 5 and alternates with 0: 5, 0, 5, 0. For example: 5 x 1 = 5, 5 x 2 = 10, 5 x 3 = 15, 5 x 4 = 20, etc. There are two other tricks to help with the tables of 5: the product a) is always half of 10 times that number and b) is half of that number times 10.
- For example: 5 x 4 = half of (10 x 4). 10 x 4 = 40, half of 40 is 20; 5 x 4 = 20.
- Another example: 5 x 4 = (half of 4) x 10. The half of 4 is 2, 2 x 10 = 20; 5 x 4 = 20.
Step 5. Know that when you multiply a number by 6, it ends in the same digit
A useful tip for the 6 times tables is to know the last digit of the product. This trick only works for even numbers. When you multiply 6 by an even number, the last digit of the product will be that number.
For example: 6 x 2 = 12, 6 x 4 = 24, 6 x 6 = 36, 6 x 8 = 48, etc
Step 6. Multiply the number by 10 and subtract it from the result to get the multiplication table for 9
A quick trick for learning the 9 times tables is to multiply the number by 10 and subtract it from the product to get the final answer.
- For example: 9 x 4. First, multiply 4 x 10 = 40. Then subtract 4 from 40 to get 36.9 x 4 = 36.
- Another example: 9 x 8. 10 x 8 = 80, 80 – 8 = 72. 9 x 8 = 72.
- Note that the two product numbers add up to 9! For 9 x 4 = 36, 3 + 6 = 9. For 9 x 8 = 72, 7 + 2 = 9. This data works for numbers 2 to 9.
Step 7. Add zero to the product of any number times 10
When multiplying by 10, the product equals the number followed by a zero at the end. Again, zero is the exception to this rule (0 x 10 = 0).
For example, 10 x 2 = 20, 10 x 7 = 70, 10 x 9 = 90, etc
Step 8. Repeat the digit (up to 9) by multiplying by 11
The times tables from 11 are very simple up to the number 10. Just repeat the number you are multiplying to get the answer. After 9, you will need to memorize that 11x10 is 110 and 11x12 is 121.
For example: 11 x 2 = 22, 11 x 3 = 33, 11 x 4 = 44, etc
Method 3 of 3: Using Tools to Memorize Times Tables
Step 1. Use cards
Make multiplication cards for each set of numbers. While it may sound tedious, the process of making the cards will also help you learn. After you make them, spend time studying them every day until you memorize them.
- Focus on one set of numbers at a time.
- As you go through the cards, put the ones you miss back on the pile so you can see them over and over again.
Step 2. Practice with exercises
Once you have mastered the cards, try out some exercise sheets. Start by practicing with one set of numbers at a time. Once you've learned them all, try exercises that mix all sets and see how well you do.
If school tests are timed, practice with a stopwatch
Step 3. Sing songs by making gestures
There are multiplication albums that sing multiplication tables. You can listen to them and learn from music instead of mechanical memorization. Listen to some versions and find the one that works best for you.
Add gestures or dance steps that illustrate the different number pairs to make the process more interactive
Step 4. Use mnemonics and silly stories to memorize
A mnemonic is a special learning technique or mechanism that helps you remember something. Stories can help you memorize multiplication tables by associating numbers with characters and silly tales.
- Phrases such as "5, 6, 7, 8, 56 equals 7 times 8" are also useful.
- There are many ways to memorize things. You just need to find the best one for you.
Step 5. Play math games
Once you've mastered all the times tables, play math games to increase your speed. There are many games available online to help you memorize multiplication tables and go through them quickly.
- Math games are a more exciting and interactive way to get kids to learn multiplication tables.
- Some include visuals and other images to help you relate the numbers to each other.
- Drawing pictures to represent multiplication is another fun way to learn multiplication tables. For 2 x 3, draw three dogs, each with two eyes, and count the number of eyes (6 in total).
Step 6. Relate numbers and times tables to life
Look for ways to incorporate multiplication tables into everyday life to truly understand the numbers and not just memorize them.
If you know that a special holiday is only eight weeks away, you can use the times tables to find out how many days are left before it. Each week has seven days, so 7 times 8 is 56. Your holiday is only 56 days away
- Reward yourself when you get it right, but don't punish yourself for forgetting. Learn the answer and repeat the multiplication tables for yourself.
- Working with a friend is always better and more fun. You can study the same times tables or ask each other questions about different times tables.