Feature Articles
Ways to add

6 Ways to add: Fast facts and fun tricks to conquer calculations!

Math class got you feeling like you’re stuck in slow-motion addition? Mastering addition doesn’t have to be a drag. With a few clever tricks and techniques, you can become a lightning-fast calculator knowing different ways to add numbers.

Imagine this: you’re faced with a mountain of addition problems, but instead of feeling overwhelmed, you approach them with a confident smirk and a twinkle in your eye.

Get ready to be adding like a pro, leaving frustration in the dust and replacing it with the satisfaction of conquering any equation that comes your way.

Study Zone Spelling Stories (10 books)

First, before you explore the different ways to add, it might sound obvious, but consistent practise is key. Set aside a few minutes each day to work on addition problems. Flashcards, online games, or even making up your own drills can help.

Don’t just see numbers, picture them! Imagine them on a number line or as manipulatives you can move around. This can help solidify their relationships and make calculations more intuitive.

Finally, warm up your brain. Before tackling a big problem, do some quick and easy sums to get your brain in gear. This primes your mental muscles and gets you into a focussed state. Now, get ready to master addition. Here are 6 ways to add numbers.

edX | Free Online Courses by Harvard, MIT, & more | edX

Explore Over 3,500 Courses

Master In-Demand Skills and Learn Online. Achieve Your Goals with edX. Find The Right Course For You. Register For Free and Enroll Today. 100% Online. Learn New Skills. Join 39+ Million Learners. 14 Day Refund. Flexible Learning. Advance Your Career.

6 Ways to add numbers

1. Jump strategy

Don’t just count one by one! Skip ahead by 2s, 5s, or even 10s to reach the answer faster. For example, 6 + 8 becomes 6 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2, getting you to 14 in just four jumps!

Instead of counting 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 you make four strategic jumps:

  • Jump 1: 6 + 2 = 8 (leap two steps up)
  • Jump 2: 8 + 2 = 10 (another two-step jump)
  • Jump 3: 10 + 2 = 12 (one more two-step hop)
  • Jump 4: 12 + 2 = 14

Remember, the bigger the jumps you choose (like using 5s or 10s), the fewer jumps you’ll need, making you a super-speedy addition whiz!

2. Regrouping magic

This might sound fancy, but it’s actually quite simple! Break down larger numbers into smaller groups (tens and ones) and add them separately.

For instance, 37 + 28 becomes (30 + 20) + (7 + 8), making the calculation much easier to handle.

Here’s how regrouping helps:

  1. Break down the tens: 37 can be thought of as 30 (tens) + 7 (ones), and 28 can be thought of as 20 (tens) + 8 (ones).
  2. Add the tens: 30 (tens) + 20 (tens) = 50 (tens).
  3. Add the ones: 7 (ones) + 8 (ones) = 15 (ones).
  4. Put it all together: 50 (tens) + 15 (ones) = 65.

So, by regrouping, we were able to break down a seemingly complex problem (adding 37 and 28) into smaller, easier steps, and ultimately find the answer: 65!

Player: One – H5 Flow RTX 3050 Gaming PC
layer: One is built by our gaming PC experts with premium gaming components to give you a competitive advantage. Player: One makes a great starter PC and has plenty of room for upgrades. Up to NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4060 Intel® Core™ i5-12400F Up to 32GB RAM Up to 2TB Storage space Get 1080p Gaming Performance Real-time ray tracing technology Air Cooler with NZXT T120 RGB 80 Plus Gold power supplies for lower power consumption DDR4 compatible to work with different motherboards Overclockable GPU options to unlock higher frame rates (Use at your own risk. See terms for full info) Solid Single Threaded Performance to execute simultaneous processes US$749

3. Aim for 10

Become best friends with the number 10! See if you can add any two numbers that make 10:

  • 1 + 9
  • 2 + 8
  • 3 + 7
  • 4 + 6
  • 5 + 5

Here’s how this magic trick works: instead of slogging through individual numbers, you turn addition into a game of finding “partner numbers” that add up to 10. Think of 10 as the ultimate goal, and your job is to match up the numbers like puzzle pieces to reach it.

For example: 17 + 8

Scan the problem for numbers that can be paired to make 10.

Split the bigger number (17 in this case) to make it work with 10. So, 17 becomes 10 + 7. 

Now you have 10 + 7 + 8. 

Add the partner numbers (10 + 8) to get 18, then add the remaining 7: 18 + 7 = 25!

The more you practise finding partner numbers, the faster you’ll become at spotting them. Soon, you’ll be adding like a pro, leaving everyone wondering how you do it so quickly!

4. Count upwards

Sometimes, starting from the bigger number is faster! Imagine you’re facing a problem like 1 + 2 + 3 + 4. The usual way is to count each number one by one, like climbing a mountain step by step. But what if you could launch yourself to the peak in fewer jumps?

Here’s the trick: instead of starting at 1, focus on the biggest number (4 in this case). Now, instead of counting up from 1, you count up from 4! So, you say:

  • 4… (already there!)
  • Then count the remaining numbers… 1 more to get 5…
  • Then 2 more to get 7…
  • And finally, 3 more to reach 10!

Just like that, you’ve blasted off to the answer (10) in just three jumps. This might seem like a small difference, but the bigger the numbers get, the more jumps you save using this strategy.

Imagine tackling 15 + 23! Starting from 23 and counting up 15 times would take ages, right? But starting from 23 and counting up 15 times only requires 14 jumps – a huge time saver!

Remember, practise makes perfect! The more you try this “think big, jump ahead” strategy, the more comfortable and confident you’ll become.

For parents looking for an edge.

Your child shouldn’t miss out. LiteracyPlanet is designed to improve English literacy skills for each individual student. So this program is for your child too!

LiteracyPlanet is perfect for 5-15 years olds who are:

  • Homeschooled students, or
  • Students attending mainstream school needing extension work

5. Tens last

Got big numbers with tens and ones? Imagine you’re facing a number like 37 + 48. It’s tempting to get bogged down, adding each individual digit. But here’s the smarter way:

Recognise that each number has two parts – the tens digit (representing the “big guys”) and the ones digit (the “little guys”). In this case, 37 has 3 tens and 7 ones, while 48 has 4 tens and 8 ones.

Forget the little guys for now! Just add the tens digits together: 3 tens + 4 tens = 7 tens. Picture 7 stacks of 10 blocks – that’s already impressive!

Now, it’s the turn of the ones digits. Add them up separately: 7 ones + 8 ones = 15 ones. That’s like having 15 individual blocks.

Remember the “big guys” and the “little guys”? Now, add them together to get the final answer: 7 tens + 15 ones = 70 (tens) + 15 (ones) = 85!

By breaking down the problem into manageable chunks (tens and ones) and tackling them separately, you’ve conquered the giant in just four steps! This “tens last” strategy works wonders for any large addition problem.

Got 123 + 156? Just follow the same steps: big guys first (1 + 1 = 2 hundreds), little guys next (2 + 5 = 7 tens), and (3 + 6 = 9 ones). Then, combine (200 + 70 + 9 = 279).

Remember, practise makes perfect! The more you use this strategy, the faster and more confident you’ll become at handling even the biggest numbers.

LiteracyPlanet For Schools

Schools the world over use LiteracyPlanet to improve literacy outcomes.

The reason it’s suitable for schools around the globe? Our content is some of the most comprehensive and engaging you’ll find.

  • Suitable for students from Prep to Year 10.
  • Aligned to dozens of curriculums.
  • Comprehensive coverage of all key literacy strands.
  • Highly engaging and gamified.

6. Compensation method

The “compensation method” is your secret weapon, like a ninja borrowing power from an opponent to win!

Example: 19 + 7

7 is closer to 10 than 19, so it’s your partner.

Round up your chosen partner to the nearest multiple of 10. In this case, 7 becomes 10. But remember, you “borrowed” 3 from 7 to round it up, so you need to compensate for that later!

Add the rounded-up partner (10) to the other number (19) in the problem. Here, 10 + 19 = 29.

Now, remember that “debt” you created by rounding up? Subtract the amount you borrowed from the initial sum you got. In this case, 29 – 3 (what you borrowed) = 26.

You’ve conquered the problem using the “compensation method”! 19 + 7 = 26.

Or, you can simply borrow 1 from the 7 to make the larger number 20 and then pay it back. So, it’s 20 + 7 = 27 and then 27 – 1 (what you borrowed) = 26.

Outschool – Where Kids Love Learning

Over 140,000 Interactive Online Classes

Keep kids ages 3-18 engaged with thousands of classes and camps on the topics they’re most passionate about!


Remember, practise makes perfect! But don’t just mindlessly repeat the same method. Experiment with all these different ways to add and discover which ones click for you.

There’s no “one size fits all” approach, so embrace the variety of ways to add and have fun exploring!

The more you practise these diverse ways to add, the more comfortable and confident you’ll become. Soon, you’ll be tackling addition problems with lightning speed, leaving math anxieties in the dust.

Imagine the satisfaction of whipping through calculations, impressing your classmates, and truly understanding the magic behind numbers. It all starts with exploring the different ways to add and finding your own unique path to mathematical mastery. So, pick up your pencil, choose your favourite method, and start adding your way to success!

When you buy something through our retail links, we may earn commission and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

See also:

10 Real-world uses of algebra in everyday life

Algebra basics: 7 important things to know before you start

Clock: 8 Simple steps to telling time on an analogue timepiece

How variance is calculated for sample and population data? Explained with solution

The significance of Standard Deviation

4 Best calculus websites for students


About Study Zone Institute

Check Also

Standard Deviation

The significance of Standard Deviation

You’ve probably heard about the coronavirus vaccine in the headlines recently. And many individuals may …


4 Best calculus websites for students

Calculus is a fundamental branch of mathematics used to find various kinds of problems and …

Discover more from Study Zone Institute

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading