Kids and Teens

Improving the Mental Arithmetic In Key Stage 2: Top Tips and Tricks

Maths is complicated, and therefore we see many different strategies to make it less complex for children. Like tables, formulas, tricks and mental arithmetic. So, working out the Maths problems in the head makes the calculation much easier and quicker. It saves a child time to write things down. As we live in a technically advanced world, this mental technique could help a child’s day to day life, especially in exams. More importantly, it is crucial to possess these skills for students taking SATs in Year 6. Therefore, this blog will guide you on how important is mental arithmetic in Key Stage 2. Online Key Stage 2 Maths tuition might help you through this challenge. 


When we think about mental Maths, we mean solving Maths problems in mind without implementing formal methods to solve them on paper. In this particular exercise, you will be solving problems in much less time than it usually takes. In this particular blog, you will be introduced to some most proficient mental Maths tips and tricks. It is to help children develop strong mental Maths strategies to go through primary school stages confidently.

Why is Mental Arithmetic Important in Key Stage 2?

Students are expected to have sharp mental Maths skills to do different calculations quickly when they step into secondary school. In pursuit of that, teachers or parents should train them and help them practise core methods like addition strategies for KS2 Maths, subtracting multiples of power 10. Moreover, they should be quick in doubling and halving the numbers less than 100, working out the fractions and decimals. 


Times tables also come into mental Maths. So, children need to get their multiplying facts in order and memorise to solve the questions quickly. The key at this particular moment is the confidence and fluency of a child. So, regular practising will improve the learning of Mental Maths. 


Top Tips and Tricks To Improve Mental Maths Arithmetic for Key Stage 2


Following are some of the most preferred and highly suggested practices for improving KS2 Mental Arithmetic.

Present A Single and Quick Problem  

Presenting a child with a single problem will help; how? When a child is given a problem like 30 + 25. They try to solve it in their mind and then straight after that you can ask them to add other numbers, say 15 to the sum. It helps them quickly work out the addition. However, it is one of the mental methods for doing addition. 


Another useful tip is to write down the questions related to times tables, allowing children to double or half numbers up to 100. So, you will ask them to multiply the number by 10 or even 100. They need a trick here, and that is to add a zero next to the number accordingly. However, you should encourage them to answer them in a limited time and beat their scores. If they get the wrong answers, you should discuss the strategy to get it right next time. 

Use Cards to Make it Interesting 

Learning is more valuable when it comes to interesting activities. So, the same goes for improving mental arithmetic. Linking cards is one of the best strategies for mental maths. So, what you will do is get some cards. On the cards, you will write a question and the answer. The first card will include the question, and the right after it is the card with the correct answer. So, make at least ten questions on the cards.  Now mix up all these cards and ask a child to arrange them in the correct order. The question comes first, and then the card with the correct answer. So, a child needs to do that quickly in order to beat their previous best time. 

Multiplication Tables

Tables are a more productive way to increase a child’s Key Stage 2 mental arithmetic. As you see, there are patterns in the answers of some times tables. Let’s take an example; if you look at the times tables of 5, you will see a pattern that each result ends in 5 or 0. Similarly, the times table of 9 also gives a clear hint like if you add the digits of each answer, you will get 9 (e.g. 18, 1 + 8 = 9, 27, 2 + 7 = 9). So, help your children spot such patterns to improve their mental methods for solving arithmetic. The trick is to look closely at the repeating digits. 

Ask Your Child To Step Up

Asking the child to find and write some tips for others also helps build mental arithmetic skills. It’s time to share the skills they have learned with others. In doing so, they will notice more hacks and shortcuts to solve Key Stage 2 mental arithmetic. 

One of the interesting mental methods for addition is knowing that when you double a 2-digit number, you can separate them into tens and ones. So, now you can double both digits separately and then combine them to get the correct answer. For example, when you double 24, you will need 2×2 and 4×2; you will get 4 and 8. The answer of doubling 24 will be 48. 



Practice is always a key in Maths and it can help your child with a Maths online Tutor in United Kinddom. Therefore, you should be promoting it to improve the child’s Key Stage 2 arithmetic through mental skills. So, always look for hacks and patterns for quick problem-solving. I hope the above-mentioned tips will help you if you are looking for the answer to how to solve mental maths.

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