Whether it’s basic elementary grade math or pre-algebra, many students in the UK struggle in arithmetic every year. While some teachers have turned to more creative approaches in teaching elements in reading and maths courses, sometimes students and adults alike need a bit of extra support.

Luckily, we've laid out a guide that can help you grasp everything to know about learning arithmetic. Starting with the history of the mathematics branch to how you can get online maths classes, get started on learning today!

getting privately tutored in arithmetic
Having a maths tutor can help you solve math questions step by step

What is Arithmetic?

From Calculus to Trigonometry, arithmetic is an essential tool in all levels of math as it helps us form everything as basic as addition and subtraction to more complex ideas involving conic sections, math logarithms, rational expressions and rational functions. But what exactly is arithmetic and why is it relevant to our world?

Let’s start by taking a look at the definition and origin of arithmetic. Coming from the Greek word for number, arithmetic is essentially the branch of mathematics that deals with all the steps and skills involved in the computation of numbers.

In other words, arithmetic is about the counting of numbers and involves four basic operations: multiplication, division, subtraction and addition. This is the reason why arithmetic is essential to all maths – it is necessary to use arithmetic skills in topics covering systems of equations, polynomials, quadratic equations and inequalities.

Before getting into quadratic functions, however, start by understanding what kinds of numbers you can use within arithmetic:

  • Rational numbers: this set of numbers encompasses the following
    • Integers
    • Natural numbers
  • Irrational numbers: these are the numbers that cannot be expressed as a fraction of two integers

Building upon this, arithmetic also has three essential laws that allow for the facility of computation and are even sometimes necessary. These three laws are:

  • Commutative law
  • Associative law
  • Distributive law

All of these laws apply to multiplication and addition only, with a few exceptions. If this seems a bit simplified, it may surprise you to know that these laws are present in even the most advanced math – so make sure you understand and remember them fully.

If you’re already feeling a bit lost, make sure to check out this explanation on the basics of arithmetic. Feeling lost in the hard sciences, such as math and science, is normal. In fact, many students throughout the UK struggle with basic math. One solution to this can be finding a private tutor to help you or your child in everything from their maths homework to A-Levels test prep.

Finding the Best Arithmetic Tutor

Regardless of whether its you or your child that’s struggling in maths class,  finding the right tutor can help you master the most essential maths skills. The first step in finding a maths tutor is to determine what kind of grade level tutor you’ll be needing.

The types of private maths teacher you can find will fall under the following grade categories:

  • Primary school math
  • High school math
  • College math
  • Test prep

This means that, if you need help in maths classes at the elementary level, you’ll need to find a tutor that specializes in the questions and word problems at that specific level. Determining the grade level that your tutor will be teaching isn’t just important for developing a good tutoring plan – it will also determine how much you will have to pay for a private tutor.

while a math website can help, tutoring can help you in your math activities
Working on your math skills everyday can help you become proficient!

If you’re looking for an in-person tutor, you can check out any of these tutoring platforms:

  • Keystone tutors
  • UK tutors
  • Superprof

The prices for a maths tutor average between 12 to 70 pounds an hour and each organization offers tutors with different degrees of qualifications, expertise and availability. Keep in mind that some tutoring services require monthly or yearly subscriptions.

If you’re looking for an online tutor for maths, you can try searching through the following sites:

  • Maths Doctor
  • Superprof
  • Tutors Valley

Again, the prices will vary depending on what services you choose, going from 12 to 40 pounds an hour. If you’re interested in free math help, online resources can be your best option. AAA Math is a great example of an online resource that offers tutorials, lessons and practice in arithmetic and more.

If you’d prefer in-person, free maths help, check to see if your school offers a math lab specifically for students. Another option can be your local library, which may have free volunteers offering tutoring services in your area.

Regardless of what you’re paying, your tutor should always have core standards like professionality and qualifications, as well as be experienced in helping students through math problems in specific areas like pre-school math or college algebra.

If you’re interested in knowing more about specific pricing and options, make sure to check out this detailed explanation on all things related to getting a tutor for arithmetic.

Resources Online for Arithmetic Help

Struggling in subjects like math, science and reading is common for many students and adults. While many mathematics courses can be enlightening, even the most gifted learners can have trouble grasping more complex maths concepts and problems. While finding a private tutor in specific subjects, such as an algebra tutor or physics tutor, sometimes getting private tutoring isn’t the best option.

Some of the ways you can determine whether or not online resources for arithmetic might be your best bet comes down to three reasons:

  • You have little to no budget for tutoring
  • You learn better through self-teaching
  • You only need the occasional help through a maths problem or two

Luckily, there are a range of online resources for maths that you can access at no cost. The best supplemental instruction online can be found in maths websites that are organized by both grade level and subject. Whether it be for elementary math or a placement test, here are some of the ways you can get access to arithmetic help from the comfort of your home.

If you are interested in lessons and tutorials, one of the best websites to check out is Math Tutor UK. Created by mathematicians in teachers in associations with the Universities of Leeds, Loughborough and Coventry – this website has sections dedicated to teaching 7 specific branches of mathematics including:

  • Arithmetic
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry

If you’re interested in practicing your arithmetic skills online, one of the best options is to find an online maths game you enjoy. While playing maths games can be especially useful for kids who like healthy competition, it is also a practical way for adults to brush up on some of their forgotten skills.

For example, many maths games for adults focus on helping improve the speed of calculation and mental math. If you’re more interested the arithmetic involved in the real world, make sure to check out the numerous maths podcasts at your disposal. Many of these podcasts are often a combination of fascinating topics in economics, politics and culture.

math help from preschool to undergrad
If you need to improve your basic skills in arithmetic, you can study online and in person

Common Arithmetic Questions and Examples

Now that you’ve learned a bit of the basics behind the origins of arithmetic, as well as how you can get online and in person in the UK, now you’re ready to try some practice problems and examples on your own. While this is not a definitive guide on arithmetic examples, as well as how it is involved with algebraic linear equations, trigonometric concepts, or ideas like square roots, exponents and absolute value – here is a taste of what the branch entails.

Referencing the laws already mentioned, we can use the distributive law to solve many equations and inequalities. The most common example, and one you can find at the middle school and high school level, is simplifying algebraic expressions.

The distributive law holds that when multiplying an addition of numbers, you can first multiply this addition element by a number and then perform the addition operation. Looking at it in an equation can be more helpful:

a x (b + c) = a x b + a x c

This law is extremely important in everything from polynomial functions to matrices and has many applications in the real world. Here’s an example of how this law can be used to simplify an algebraic expression.


4x + 3(x – 10)

Using the distributive law, we can see that in order to simplify this expression, we must distribute the 3 to get:

4x + 3x – 30

The next step again involves the distributive law. Looking above, we might know by habit that the next natural step would be to add 4x and 3x together to get 7x. However, the reason why we can do this in the first place lies with the distributive law.

x(4+3) is another way of writing 4x + 3x before x is distributed

Now, combining everything we’ve learned, the final answer gives us:

7x – 30

Learning maths should always be empowering and hopefully this guide has put you on the right track towards accomplishing your goals in the branch of arithmetic.

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