Use of Numbers

Use of Numbers

Understanding Numbers

  • Familiarize yourself with different types of numbers: natural numbers, integers, rational numbers, irrational numbers and real numbers. Know how they relate and differ from each other.
  • Understand the place value of numbers: units, tens, hundreds, thousands and so on, and their equivalents in decimal places.
  • Be sure to grasp the concept of even and odd numbers, and understand their properties.

Numerical Operations

  • Master the four basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
  • Understand the use of brackets, particularly the BIDMAS rule (Brackets, Indices, Division and Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction) to solve numerical expressions.
  • Get to grips with the concept of indices, including negative and fractional indices.

Fractions and Decimals

  • Understand how to convert between fractions, decimals, and percentages.
  • Know how to add, subtract, multiply and divide both fractions and decimals confidently.
  • Learn the different between reciprocal fractions and how to calculate them, and the method for simplifying fractions.

Ratio and Proportion

  • Grasp the concept of ratio and understand its role in comparative quantities.
  • Know how to divide a given quantity into a certain ratio.
  • Comprehend the principle of proportionality and how it relates to real-world situations.

Powers and Roots

  • Understand the laws of indices and how they are utilised in calculations.
  • Be comfortable with working square roots, cube roots, and other roots.
  • Comprehend how to calculate with both real and fractional powers.


  • Fully understand what surds are and know how to simplify and manipulate them accurately.
  • Know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide surds, maintaining their simplest form.


  • Understand how to calculate percentages and how they are used in real-world situations.
  • Learn the links between decimals, fractions and percentages and be able to convert between them.

Practice, practise, practise

  • Active practise is essential. Use past papers, online quizzes, worksheets and textbook exercises to reinforce concepts and skills.
  • Work in depth on areas you find difficult.