8 Basic Math Concepts Everyone Should Know

Posted by: Dayna Corkery I at 24/06/2021 1,128 views

Do you ever wonder why so many people struggle with math? It turns out that there may be several reasons. Some people have an innate understanding and can easily grasp the concepts, while others need to work harder. Some also may have a learning disability or mental health condition contributing to difficulties with the subject. Still, others never really had the opportunity to learn it in the first place.

Regardless of how someone learned or their natural abilities, there are basic math concepts that everyone should know. These concepts can help everyone learn about higher Math topics, such as systems of equations word problems. So, if you need help with this topic, why not check here to learn more about it.

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Math Topic Essentials

This article will cover seven basic math concepts:

1.  Addition And Subtraction

This is the foundation for a proper understanding of how math works. For example, the operation of addition adds two numbers together. At the same time, subtraction removes a specific amount from one number to find another. 

2. Multiplication And Division

These are two of the most essential concepts in mathematics, and they're much more than just memorizing tables.

Many know that multiplication is repeated addition. It's the process of adding the same number to itself a certain number of times. Meanwhile, division is repeated subtraction, and it finds parts by dividing one part into another. To understand division, think about taking an object and breaking it into smaller pieces. For example, imagine cutting a cake to give everyone precisely the same size piece.

These two operations are crucial as they're foundational to more complicated math concepts, like fractions, decimals, and percentages. They're also used to easily understand the concepts of ratio and proportion

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3. The Order Of Operations

You may have noticed that, sometimes, when you do computations, the answer you get is incorrect. This can happen because of a simple mistake in working out what order to do your calculations. Even if you're experienced at math and know how to work it out by hand, it can still be confusing working around these operations at times.

PEMDAS is an excellent acronym to remember this order. It stands for ‘Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, Addition and Subtraction.’ Although it might seem simple, PEMDAS is the general rule to help you evaluate expressions and solve math problems with more ease. Even higher Mathematics, such as Algebra, Calculus, and Trigonometry, are often solved through the proper order of operations.

Therefore, the order of operations should be followed when solving for an unknown variable. First, solve equations with a single operation using parentheses, then exponents and roots, next, multiplication or division (left-to-right), and finally addition or subtraction (left-to-right).

4. Fractions

Fractions are basic yet essential concepts in Mathematics, and it's necessary to understand them to be successful at Math. For example, it's because of fractions that people can measure distance, weight, and time.

Also, there are topics under fractions that can be tricky, mainly if it involves mixed or dissimilar fractions. Thus, your mastery over the operations of multiplication and division must shine through. In addition, it may be essential to understand how fractions are represented on the number line and in more complex numbers.

5. Decimals 

Decimals are used to measure how many tenths, hundredths, and thousandths of something there is. They're essential as they're used in measurements, weights, and distances, as well as money. 

Also, decimals are used with other Math concepts, such as fractions, to show a part of the whole being represented. An example would be 0.95, which means that 95% of something belongs to the fraction.

In this case, it's a good idea to make sure you know what decimals and fractions mean before moving on with any more math concepts.

6. Percentages

Percentages are used to express a number as part of a hundred. They’re one of the most basic Mathematical concepts used to calculate a part of something.

For example, if you make $100 in one day and your boss gave you another hundred because it’s your first day working at the company, that means you made 200%. 

7. Visual Representation Of Data

Another mathematical concept everyone should know is the visual representation of data. This concept refers to the use of pictures or graphs to present large amounts of information so that it's more accessible and easier to understand for the audience. It can be done by using charts, diagrams, illustrations, and others.

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For example, pie charts can show how many people completed a survey and how many believe they were satisfied with the service. This makes them an effective tool in visually showing proportions, making it easier for you to see people’s perceptions of your product. 

Bar graphs are effective as well. You can use these graphs to show the change in quality over time or even how much impact your actions had on a business or an organization's performance.

If these representations are something that you've never used before, don't be discouraged. They’re all pretty easy, and you can find a tutorial online to try them out for yourself.

8. Solving For An Unknown Variable

An unknown variable is a variable in an equation that hasn’t been assigned a numerical value. To find an unknown value, you may substitute any number for it and solve the equation. However, this step may require your skills in the basic operations, their order, and fractions.

It's essential to know how to solve and identify the value of unknown variables to find necessary information within algebraic expressions. However, solving for an unknown variable can also be applied outside the classroom. For example, this skill is essential when solving equations using numbers from real-world situations, such as finances or customer orders.

Takeaways

Whether you like it or not, you have to use math in your daily life. Basic math fluency is, therefore, an essential life skill that everyone should master. These eight basic concepts can help you get started with your journey towards achieving a high mastery of the subject matter. 

Which one do you find most interesting? Ask for help so you can learn more about it.

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