As I recall, I was completely baffled by 8th grade algebra. Geometry, which I took in the 9th grade, was a snap!! Kids who had sailed through algebra couldn't, for the most part, make heads or tails out of geometry. Go figure!!
If you'll allow me to brag a bit, I am brilliant. It's just that math is not my strong suit. That's part of the reason my marriage has lasted so long. Bud is an accountant/attorney. I translate things for him & check his spelling & he does all my math. For those of you who might say we don't have a brain between us, you're wrong; we have one!! (Also, he gives me his avocados & olives & he gets all my mushrooms.)
I dug up this collection at Curiosity.com of mathematical cheat codes to divide your multiplication woes in half:
Figuring out a percentage: You can always switch the numbers when finding a percentage. This trick won't always make it easier, but it's a nice thing to keep in your pocket just in case. So 36% of 50 is the same as 50% of 36: 18. And 18% of 200 is the same as 200% of 18: 36. Now that's a good way to impress a date.
Multiplying by 11: Multiplying 11 by 1–10 is a piece of cake. But after that, it gets tricky. Here's what you do to multiply it by a 2-digit number, say, 35. First, separate the two digits with a blank: 3_5. Then add them together and fill in the blank: 385. There's your answer! If the digits add up to 10 or larger, just carry the one — it's not 6115, it's 715.
Multiplying numbers that are just under 100: If you need to multiply two numbers that are close to 100 (or any power of 10), try this trick. We'll use 99 x 96. First, figure out the difference between those numbers and 100 (1 and 4, respectively). Then subtract one of those numbers from the starting number it doesn't correspond with (so 99 - 4, or 96 - 1).
Whichever number you start with, you'll wind up with the same answer, in this case, 95. Those are the first two digits of the answer. The second two digits you get by multiplying the differences from 100 (the 1 and 4). So 1 x 4 = 4, and there you have your answer: 9,504.
Some math jokes from rd.com:
The problem with math puns is that calculus jokes are all derivative,
trigonometry jokes are too graphic, algebra jokes are usually
formulaic, and arithmetic jokes are pretty basic.
Here’s some advice: At a job interview, tell them you’re willing to
give 110 percent. Unless the job is a statistician.
Q: Did you hear about the mathematician who’s afraid of negative numbers?
A: He will stop at nothing to avoid them.
Q: Did you hear the one about the statistician?
Q: How do mathematicians scold their children?
A: “If I’ve told you n times, I’ve told you n+1 times…”
Infinitely many mathematicians walk into a bar. The first says, “I’ll
have a beer.” The second says, “I’ll have half a beer.” The third says,
“I’ll have a quarter of a beer.” Before anyone else can speak, the
barman fills up exactly two glasses of beer and serves them. “Come
on, now,” he says to the group, “You guys have got to learn your
With the Ark settled safely after the flood, Noah opens the doors
and commands the animals, “Go forth and multiply!” All the
animals depart the Ark, except for two snakes in the back. Noah
proclaims again, “Go forth and multiply,” yet the snakes stay put.
Perturbed, Noah finally asks them, “Why have you not followed my
command?” The snakes flicker their tongues and answer, “We can’t
multiply, Noah—we’re Adders.”
Q: Why should the number 288 never be mentioned?