These are a few math tricks my brother used when studying for the MCAT. Hope they help!
(attached a word document)
1. A nice math trick is multiplying two integers that have multiple digits relatively quickly. It does not apply to all integers the following has to be met:
TENS DIGIT in both integers HAS TO BE SAME
ONES DIGIT in each integer HAS TO ADD UP TO 10
Also, if the ones digits are 1 and 9 you just write 09.
Example 34x36:
Step 1: Add one to tens place then multiply (1+3)x3 = 12
Step 2: Ones place 4x6 = 24
Step 3: Place Steps 1 & 2 = 1224
Example 1 & 9 in ones place: 21x29
Step 1: Add one to tens place then multiply (1+2)x2 = 6
Step 2: Ones place 1x9= 09
Step 3: Place Steps 1 & 2 together = 609
2. This one is for people having difficulty memorizing a few square root numbers!
sqrt 1 = 1 (as in 1/1 = New Year's Day)
sqrt 2 = 1.4 (as in 2/14 = Valentine's Day)
sqrt 3 = 1.7 (as in 3/17 = St. Patrick's Day)
3. The next math trick is the Babylonian Method it can be useful when estimating square roots.
First guess roughly what you think it would be
Step 1: For a number less than 1 guess bigger.
For a number greater than 1 guess smaller.
Step 2: Divide your guess into the square root number.
Step 3: Take your answer (from step 2) and add it to your guess
Step 4: Divide by 2
Example sqrt(.78):
Step 1: sqrt of .78 < 1 so guess = .85
Step 2. .78/.85 = ~.9
Step 3: (.85+.9) = 1.75
Step 4: 1.75/2 = ~.88 And this should be your answer (or close enough)
If you guess really wildly just use the answer from your first guess and run through the process again. You can do it in seconds once you get good at it.
Wild Guess Example: sqrt 70 = ?
Step 1 sqrt of 70>1 so guess 10
Step 2: 70/10= 7
Step 3: 7+10= 17
Step 4: 17/2 = 8.5
*8.5x8.5 = 72.25 Still off (10 kind of a wild guess, so repeat process with the new answer from step 4)
Step 1: guess = 8.5
Step 2: 70/8.5= 8.2
Step 3: 8.2+8.5= 16.7
Step 4: 16.7/2 = ~8.4
8.4*8.4 = 70.6
4. If two numbers (both even or odd) are close together and their average is an integer, then this method can be used.
Need to recognize that:
x^2 - y^2 = (x + y)(x - y) and vice-versa (x + y)(x - y) = x^2 - y^2
Example 1
48*52 = (50-2)(50+2) = 50^2 - 2^2 = 2496.
Example 2
3^2 - 2^2 = 3 + 2
4^2 - 3^2 = 4 + 3
5^2 - 4^2 = 5 + 4
5. When x and y are consecutive integers, then (x - y) = 1.
It's useful for calculating large squares:
Example: 71^2 = ?
71^2 - 70^2 = 71 + 70
so 71^2 = 70^2 + (141)
= 4900 + 141 = 5041
Example: 53^2 = ?
53^2 – 52^2 = (53 + 52) + (52 + 51) + (51 + 50)
53^2 = 50^2 + (105) + (103) + (101)
= 2500 + 309 = 2809
0.79^2
80^2 - 79^2 = 80 + 79
so 80^2 - (80 + 79) = 79^2
6400 - 159 = 6241 so 0.79^2 = 0.6241