One of the most important aspects of competitive examinations like the JEE is time management. Years of hard work and knowledge become futile if you are unable to apply them in the allotted 180 minutes. As per feedback from JEE aspirants who have appeared for the exams in the past, there is a consensus that the maximum amount of time spent during the exam is completing math calculations. Furthermore, no calculators or electronic devices are allowed during the course of the exam, which makes it even more important for JEE aspirants to learn mental math tricks – it helps them calculate much faster.
What Is Mental Math?
The term mental math refers to solving maths problems like addition, subtraction and multiplication directly in the head, without the use of a calculator or pen and paper. This skill helps arriving at answers faster during an exam and improves time management skills.
Mental math is all about training your mind to look beyond the obvious and calculate the solution to a problem using easy methods. If you are a JEE aspirant, then keep reading as we walk you through 5 easy mental math tricks to help you ace your exam!
The Magic of Mental Math
Learning mental math calculation is like finding a box of treasure – numbers will no longer scare you and even the most difficult exam problems will seem like child’s play. Imagine if you are required to calculate 3845 x 2500 during the JEE exam! What will you do? Sit down with a pen and paper to carry out long multiplication? Or, apply your newly acquired math calculation skills to arrive at the answer 96,12,500 in exactly 2 minutes? Most JEE aspirants would want to take the second route and now you can, too!
- Left Is The New Right
Remember, how in school, we were taught to add and subtract starting from the rightmost digit to the left? Well, things have changed now. For easy and fast mental math calculations, you should add or subtract from the left to the right. For example, adding 340 + 215 will quickly give you the answer: 555. In case of carrying forward numbers, just add it to the digit before them, like 340 + 285 = 625.
- Remember Your Tables
It is essential that you remember your basic tables of 12, 13, 14, 15 and more – it will give you an added edge to calculate big numbers faster, thus saving on calculation time. Along with tables, it is also recommended that you practice remembering fractions and percentage values, too. Example: 3/4th can also be considered 75%.
- Round It Up
Another great thing to remember while attempting the JEE exam is having a cool head – only with a cool head can you think of these math tricks and apply them. Rounding off numbers to make calculations easy is a great trick and can be useful while solving the entrance exam paper. Imagine you have to calculate 689 + 350. Now, with the rounding-off method, we simply round of 689 to 700 and add 700 + 350 which is equal to 1050. Now, as 700 – 689 is 11, we simply subtract 11 from the result and arrive at the solution of 1039. Child’s play, isn’t it?
- Learning Your Squares
Now, squares are nothing but a number repeated itself. So, the square of 4 is 16, the square of 7 is 49 while the square of 14 is 196. It is advised that all JEE aspirants learn these square tables till 20 – it will give you a new perspective on calculating numbers faster.
- Breaking Down Problems
A few questions in the exam might feel difficult or confusing – the best way to tackle them is by breaking down a complex problem in a few ‘easy-to-calculate’ steps. This strategy will definitely help you calculate faster and accurately. For example, if you need to multiple 6 x (85 + 30), what would you do? As per the rule of BODMAS, we can solve this problem as :
(6 X 80) + (6 x 5) + (6 x 30) = 690.
Make your mental calculation abilities strong with practice and these five tips – soon, you’ll ace your JEE exam with enough time to spare!
At SpeedLabs, all of our coaches are highly qualified and ready to help each student harness their full potential, especially in the area of mathematics. Furthermore, our platform is powered by artificial intelligence, enabling us to offer students targeted coaching plans that help them master each area fully so they can excel. Contact us at 1800-419-8902 (Toll Free) to find out more!
Also published on Medium.