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An easy way to learn times tables

Updated April 17, 2017

Multiplication times tables present a challenge to some people, as those who are less mathematically inclined rack their brains trying to find ways to memorise answers. If you have trouble with times tables, the following tricks will help you memorise or solve the answers for basic times tables for the numbers 1 to 12.

Basics

When learning times tables, it does not matter in which order you multiply. Whether it's 2 times 4 or 4 times 2, the answer does not change.

If you are great at addition, perhaps using that function will help you become more comfortable with times tables. Rather than thinking of an equation as 8 times 6, think of it as either 6 groupings of 8 or 8 groupings of 6, and add them together. When first trying to master times tables, this may take less time than trying to memorise every equation in a times table.

If you want to take the memorisation route, you can learn times tables in chunks. You should use a chart/worksheet that lays all the answers for you for numbers 1 through 12 (numbers 1 to 12 running vertically on the page and also horizontally, so you can cross-reference the information). You can skip memorising 1 times tables, as when you multiply any number by 1, the number does not change (1 times 2 is 2, 1 times 3 is 3, 1 times 4 is 4, and so forth). Start with the 2 times table and work your way up to the 10 times table.

Patterns For Memorization

To help you memorise times tables, you should learn some patterns. When you multiply a number by 2, you are doubling that number. So, when you multiply 2 times 7, you are adding 7 and 7 together to get 14. Adding 9 to itself is the same as multiplying 9 times 2. Starting with 1, the pattern is that with every number you multiply by 2, your answers are every other number--2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and so on.

When you multiply a number by 5, the answers alternate between ending with a zero and 5. So 5 times 2 equals 10, 5 times 3 equals 15, 5 times 4 equals 20 and so forth.

Eight and nine times tables also have a pattern. Beginning with 8 times 1, you start with 8, and your answers as you move up the times table are 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 72 and 80. Notice that the "units" place (the second number) moves like this: 8-6-4-2-0 and then repeats. It's similar with 9 times tables--with each equation's answer, the "units" place decreases 1 number at a time, while the "tens" place (the first number) increases 1 number at a time. Consider: 9 (with an invisible zero in front of it), 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90.

Ten times tables should present the least challenge. To get your answer, you simply add a zero after the number you are multiplying by 10. So 5 times 10 equals 50, 7 times 10 equals 70 and so on.

Times Tables For 11 and 12

Times tables for 11 should not be too difficult to remember either. When multiplying 11 by numbers 2 through 9, you simply put together the two digits of the number you're multiplying. For instance, 11 times 2 equals 22, 11 times 5 equals 55 and 11 times 7 equals 77, up through 11 times 9 equals 99. Once you reach 11 times 10, just remember that the "units" place increases one number at a time--11 times 10 equals 110, 11 times 11 equals 121, 11 times 12 equals 132 and so on.

Times tables for 12 represent the highest number in basic times tables. You already have patterns to memorise 2, 5 and 10 times tables, so that leaves you to memorise 12 times the numbers 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11. There's no consistent pattern for you to memorise these, so you either have to put your multiplication skills to use or think of the answers in terms of addition (if the problem is 12 times 3, you add 3 groups of 12 together to get 36).

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About the Author

Jim Radenhausen is a freelancer who began writing professionally in 1998. A resident of Reeders, Pa., he spent over two years working at the "Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal." Radenhausen received his bachelor's degree in English/professional writing from Kutztown University in 1997.