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Fast Calculation Tips

1. Multiplication by 5
It's often more convenient instead of multiplying by 5 to multiply first by 10 and then divide by 2. For example, 1375=1370/2=685.

2. Division by 5
Similarly, it's often more convenient instead to multiply first by 2 and then divide by 10. For example, 1375/5=2750/10=275.

3. Division/multiplication by 4
Replace either with a repeated operation by 2. For example 124/4=62/2=31. Also, 1244=2482=496.

4. Division/multiplication by 25
Use operations with 4 instead. For example, 3725=3700/4=1850/2=925.

5. Division/multiplication by 8
Replace either with a repeated operation by 2. For example 1248=2484=4962=992.

6. Division/multiplication by 125
Use operations with 8 instead. For example, 37125=37000/8=18500/4=9250/2=4625.

7. Squaring two digit numbers.

i. 1 1 You should memorize the first 25 squares: 2 4 15 225 iii. 3 9 16 256 4 16 5 25 17 289 6 36 18 324 7 49 19 361 8 64 20 400 9 81 10 100 21 441 11 121 22 484 12 144 23 529 13 169 24 576 14 196 25 625

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Squares of numbers from 26 through 50. Let A be such a number. Subtract 25 from A to get x. Subtract x from 25 to get, say, a. Then A2=a2+100x. For example, if A=26, then x=1 and a=24. Hence 262=242+100=676. Similarly, if A=37, then x=37-25=12, and a=25-12=13. Therefore, 372=132+10012=1200+169=1369. Why does this work? (25+x)2-(25x)2=[(25+x)+(25-x)][(25+x)-(25-x)]=502x=100x. Squares of numbers from 51 through 99. The idea is the same as above. (50+x)2-(50-x)2=1002x=200x. For example, 632=372+20013= 1369+2600=3969. Squares of numbers from 51 through 99, second approach (this one was communicated to me by my father Moisey Bogomolny). We are looking to compute A2, where A=50+a. Instead compute 100(25+a) and add a2. Example: 572. a=57-50=7. 25+7=32. Append 49=72. Answer: 572=3249. In general, a2 = (a + b)(a - b) + b2. Let a be 57 and, again, we wish to compute 572. Let b = 3. Then 572 = (57 + 3)(57 - 3) + 32, or 572 = 6054 + 9 = 3240 + 9 = 3249.

8. Squares of numbers that end with 5.

Let A=10a+5. Then A2=(10a+5)2=100a2+210a5+25=100a(a+1)+25. For example, to compute 1152, where a=11, first compute 11(11+1)=1112=132 (since 3=1+2). Next, append 25 to the right of 132 to get 13225! Another example, to compute 245 2, let a=24. Then 24(24+1)=242+24=576+24=600. Therefore 2452=60025. Here is another way to compute 2425: 2425=2400/4=1200/2=600. The rule naturally applies to 2-digit numbers as well. 752=5625 (since 78=56).

9. Product of two one-digit numbers greater than 5.

This is a rule that helps remember a big part of the multiplication table. Assume you forgot the product 79. Do this. First find the access of each of the multiples over 5: it's 2 for 7 (7 - 5 = 2) and 4 for 9 (9 - 5 = 4). Add them up to get 6 = 2 + 4. Now find the complements of these two numbers to 5: it's 3 for 2 (5 - 2 = 3) and 1 for 4 (5 - 4 = 1). Remember their product 3 = 31. Lastly, combine thus obtained two numbers (6 and 3) as 63 = 610 + 3. The explanation comes from the following formula: (5 + a)(5 + b) = 10(a + b) + (5 - a)(5 - b) In our example, a = 2 and b = 4.

10. Product of two 2-digit numbers.

i. If the numbers are not too far apart, and their difference is even, one might use the well known formula (a+n)(a-n)=a2-n2. a here is the average of the two numbers. For example, 2824=262-22=676-4=672 since 26=(24+28)/2. Also, 1931=252-62=625-36=589 since 25=(19+31)/2. If the difference is odd use either n(m+1)=nm+n or n(m-1)=nm-n. Example 3734=3735-37=362-12-37=1296-1-37=1258. On the other hand, 3734=3733+37=352-22+37=1225-4+37=1258.

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11. Product of numbers that only differ in units.

If the numbers only differ in units and the sum of the units is 10, like with 53 and 57 or 122 and 128, then think of them as, say 10a+b and 10a+c, where b+c=10. The product (10a+b)(10a+c) is given by 100a2+10a(b+c)+bc =&nbs;100a(a+1)+bc. Thus to compute 53 times 57 (a=5, b=3, c=7), multiply 5 times (5+1) to get 30. Append to the result (30) theproduct of the units (37=21) to obtain 3021. Similarly 122128 = 1213100+28=15616.

12. Multiplying by 11.

To multiply a 2-digit number by 11, take the sum of its digits. If it's a single digit number, just write it between the two digits. If the sum is 10 or more, do not forget to carry 1 over. For example, 3411=374 since 3+4=7. 4711=517 since 4+7=11.

13. Faster subtraction.

Subtraction is often faster in two steps instead of one. Example: 427-38=(427-27)-(3827)=400-11=389. A generic advice might be given as "First remove what's easy, next whatever remains". Another example: 1049-187=1000-(187-49)=900-38=862.