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How to improve your numeracy skills

Many of us want to get better at maths, but are held back by feeling it's something that we can't improve. Being good with numbers isn’t a special talent, it’s something we can all learn. 

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Learning maths for adults

By talking to adults from around the country, we know that low confidence with numbers is everywhere. We've heard moving stories of how this lack of confidence has held them back at work, at home and in life. 

If we struggle, recognising how we feel about numbers it the first step towards getting better at maths. Learners often surprise themselves and are able to improve their maths using the National Numeracy Challenge, which is designed for adults with low number confidence. 

The conversations below give some examples of how we use maths for work, managing money and helping our children. We hope their stories inspire you to improve your maths.

The First Step: National Numeracy Challenge

However you feel about maths, you’re not alone. The National Numeracy Challenge is a free and easy-to-use website you can use to improve your confidence with numbers. You can use the Challenge on your phone, tablet or home-computer. Save your progress as you go - no timer means you can dip in and out in your own time.

The Challenge aims to help you get better at maths in the way that best suits you. 

3 tips to help you get better at maths:

Embrace mistakes

It may sound odd, but mistakes make it easier to learn. Every time we get something wrong we understand a bit more about how to get it right next time. Remember, nobody is born an expert – we all have to start somewhere.

Start with belief in yourself and the rest will follow

Confidence is the key to all learning. If you give yourself the chance to learn and accept that mistakes are part of the process, your confidence will naturally grow. The first step to improving is believing that you can.

Take your time

People are often so keen to find out their results that they rush to answer the questions. Take your time and read the questions thoroughly. There's no timer or progress bar so you can take your time to think. Take it at your own pace, have a break and come back whenever you need to.

Tools to Help Improve Your Maths:

Family Maths Toolkit

Sometimes, the best way to understand something is to explain it to others. By engaging your children with maths at home, you will be giving them a great foundation in numeracy whilst improving your own understanding and confidence.

If you’re confident with numbers, it’s almost certain your children will be too. Our Family Maths Toolkit has lots of tips, activities, and advice about how to enjoy maths with your children.

Family Maths Toolkit

Star Dash Studios

Our smartphone app, Star Dash Studios, is designed to help improve your numeracy through a fun, runner-style game.

Players take on the role of an assistant in the movie business, encountering other members of the team and finishing maths-based tasks to progress through each level of the game.

Star dash

Why bother?

Everyone can get better at maths. Smarter numeracy skills can lead to a better job, more confidence with money – even improved health.

Yes you can

With the right amount of effort and support, everyone can learn the maths they need for day-to-day life.