Here Are 11 Handy Math Hacks They Didn’t Teach You In School


Disclaimer right up front: Math dogged me throughout my school years. I wanted to be good at it, but it just wasn’t going to happen (even though I had a first-gen Texas Instruments calculator!). If I had known these handy math tricks back then, it might have been a different story.

Master these 11 hacks and people will think you’re a math whiz—even if you struggled through high school calculus!

1. Convert From Celsius To Fahrenheit

This was never easy to understand in school, but now that it’s broken down like this, maybe we can get it.

To convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit, multiply the temperature by 2, then add 30. The real calculation is to multiply by 1.8 and add 32, but this gets you close. So, if it’s 20 Celsius outside — 20 x 2 = 40, then add 30 — it’s around 70 Fahrenheit.

To convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius, reverse it: subtract 30 from the temperature, then divide by 2.

Well, that wasn’t so hard now, was it?

2. Mental Multiplication

The key to mental multiplication is breaking large numbers down into smaller numbers. The smaller the better, in fact.


3. Butterfly Method

This method makes adding and subtracting fractions a piece of cake.


4. Multiplication Hacks

Glassboard Learning shows this quick way to find the product of any number multiplied by 11 on their YouTube channel. Genius!

5. 0-9

This would have been nice to know. 0-9 in one column and 9-0 in another, and there you have it, all of the multiples of nine.


6. Easy As Pi

This is one way to remember Pi (3.1415926) out by nine decimal places. Just count the number of letters in each word in the sentence, “May I have a large container of coffee.” The number of letters corresponds to each number in Pi.

7. Drawing In Math

This is a great trick for people who learn better through visuals.


 8. 6, 7, 8 and 9 Tables Finger Multiplication

Finger multiplying? Now, that I can handle. See step-by-step instructions at Instructables.



9. Percentages

Figuring out percentages was always tricky, until now. This trick from Life Hacks is brilliant.


10. Greater Than Or Less Than

Miss Brain’s Cool Math Videos has a cute way to remember greater than, less than or equal to on her YouTube channel. It all depends on which way the alligator’s mouth is turned!


RELATED: The Internet Can’t Seem To Solve This Puzzle

11. Use Vedic Multiplication To Find A Product

It’s sort of like connect the dots, right? It helps when math is fun! This approach can help you solve for the product of large numbers. In this case, the equation is 32×31 and the answer is 992 (you read the answer from right to left). The Cool Math 4 Kids blog explains how it works.

School Exercise Books

And just in case you can’t get enough math hacks, check out this video that will open your eyes to a whole new way to think of mathematics, a way you might never have learned in school, perhaps.

You never know when these tips and tricks could come in handy! Whether you want to keep learning or want to teach your kids, there are plenty of websites that will help you practice your math skills. You can find a few examples on this website.

Life Hacks, Puzzles & Brain Teasers

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About the Author
Brinke Guthrie
Brinke has worked in Cincinnati and San Francisco radio. He also writes for and Uni He was editor/writer for He and his wife live in the SF Bay Area.

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