Quick: What is seven times eight?

Without a doubt, multiplication is the building block for many other mathematical methods. Confident knowledge of multiplication facts and quick recall of times-tables is vital in virtually every maths lesson in your child’s future and primary school is the time to get this right. Many observers in the area of educational attainment, including the schools inspector, Ofsted, agree that pupils without instant recall of multiplication tables tend to struggle in maths. This continues long into Key Stage 3 and GCSE when times tables are no longer directly taught or tested in most post-primary schools.

Young people without good mental multiplication recall often get left behind in maths class.

A great way to work on times-tables skills is to use one of the many time-tables apps available for tablet computers and smart-phones. When choosing one of these, be careful to pick one that randomises the answers between guesses so that your child can’t just hit all the options in quick succession – that was a problem that we’ve discovered in the past with some of these apps.

However, while apps are great for learning and training, the transfer test must be completed by pencil on paper. Exam accuracy, speed and efficiency all come about with confident mental times-tables recall. The most challenging time-tables at this age are the 6s, 7s and 8s so use this handy Step1 worksheet to test and train these tables.


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