Basic Math Concepts

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How to Draw Pie Charts on a Computer

Drawing a pie chart on the computer is a fantastic experience, at least compared with doing it by hand. It takes seconds, and you don’t have to remember how to use a protractor or worry about getting your [more…]

How to Draw Line Graphs on a Computer

The easiest way to draw a line graph using a computer is to use a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice Calc, which is free. [more…]

The Basics of Bar Charts

A bar chart looks a little like a picture of a skyline, consisting of different heights of ‘tower’ lined up side–by-side. The heights of the towers represent the relative sizes of the categories they represent [more…]

The Basics of Pie Charts

A pie chart looks – you’ve guessed it – a bit like a pie. The chart is a circle with various-sized slices ‘cut out’ from the middle to the edge. The size of the slices shows the relative size of the categories [more…]

The Basics of Line Graphs

A line graph shows how a value changes, usually over time. Most line graphs look like a jagged line going across the page. How high the line is above a time marked on the axis tells you how high the value [more…]

How the Table of Joy Works for Basic Maths

The Table of Joy is an incredibly useful method for working out any kind of problem involving proportions – that is to say, if you double one of the numbers, the other automatically doubles. For example [more…]

How to Apply the Table of Joy to Ratio Questions

You can use the Table of Joy to solve typical ratio questions on most numeracy tests. A ratio describes how many times bigger one share of something is than another share. [more…]

How to Scale Recipe Proportions with the Table of Joy

An example of proportions that often comes up in maths exams concerns the amount of each ingredient you need for a recipe. You can use the Table of Joy to figure out how to scale a recipe. The recipe is [more…]

What You Need to Know About Angles for Basic Maths Tests

Angle is another word for corner. For example, you may hear of footballers scoring from tight angles, meaning they’ve turned the ball round a sharp corner. The word ‘angle’ also shows up in other words [more…]

What Role Does Tessellation Play in Basic Maths?

Tessellation is a fancy word for fitting shapes together so that there are no gaps between the shapes and none of the shapes overlap – as if you’re solving a jigsaw puzzle, tiling a wall or paving a path [more…]

How to Determine the Area of Compound Rectangles

One of the most troublesome things you have to do with areas is find the total area of a shape made up of several rectangles. This may seem tricky, but after you see what’s going on, things start to make [more…]

Volume and Capacity for Basic Maths

The volume of an object is how much space the object takes up – or, if you were to drop the object into a full tub of water, how much water would overflow. [more…]

How to Read Maps and Plans

Nobody’s going to ask you to draw maps or even read a map in great detail at this stage of your maths career. But you do need to be able to look at a map and understand what it says, to convert distances [more…]

Math Topics to Study for the Miller Analogies Test (MAT)

Math: it really is everywhere, even the MAT. If you don’t like math, don’t worry: The Miller Analogies Test doesn’t require you to do a lot of calculation. But you do have to know a few things about the [more…]

Inverse Operations and the Commutative Property

The Big Four operations — addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division — are actually two pairs of inverse operations, which means that the operations can undo each other: [more…]

How to Divide Big Numbers with Long Division

To divide larger numbers, use long division. Unlike the other Big Four operations, long division moves from left to right. For each digit in the dividend [more…]

How to Multiply Multiple Digits

To multiply large numbers, stack the first number on top of the second. Then multiply each digit of the bottom number, from right to left, by the top number. In other words, first multiply the top number [more…]

How to Line Up Columns in Addition and Subtraction

To add or subtract large numbers, stack the numbers on top of each other so that all similar digits (ones, tens, hundreds, and so forth) form columns. Then work from right to left. Do the calculations [more…]

The Number Line and Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division

The number line is just a line with numbers marked off at regular intervals. You probably saw your first number line when you were learning how to count to ten. You can use this trusty tool to perform [more…]

How to Round Numbers Up and Down

Rounding numbers makes long numbers easier to work with. To round a two-digit number to the nearest ten, simply increase it or decrease it to the nearest number that ends in 0: [more…]

How to Identify the Place Value Digits within Numbers

Place value assigns each digit in a number system a greater or lesser value depending upon where it appears in a number. The number system used most commonly throughout the world is the Hindu-Arabic number [more…]

How to Multiply Quickly with Exponents

You can multiply very quickly when you understand the concept of exponents. Here's an old question whose answer may surprise you: Suppose you took a job that paid you just 1 penny the first day, 2 pennies [more…]

The Basic Concept of Negative Numbers

When people first find out about subtraction, they often hear that you can't take away more than you have. For example, if you have four pencils, you can take away one, two, three, or even all four of [more…]

How to Visualize Fractions on a Number Line

Fractions help you fill in a lot of the spaces on the number line that fall between the counting numbers. For example, the figure shows a close-up of a number line from 0 to 1. [more…]

4 Important Sets of Numbers

The number line grows in both the positive and negative directions and fills in with a lot of numbers in between. Here is a quick tour of how numbers fit together as a set of nested systems, one inside [more…]


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