# Press Release

## Eight times twelve is the hardest multiplication fact to remember!

After collecting data from over two hundred thousand timed tests, Transum reveals that the times table test (2 to 12) that takes longer to complete than any of the others is the five times tables. It takes on average 59 seconds to answer twenty questions compared to easier tables such as the eleven times table which takes only 42 seconds.

This is a surprising result as most people would think the five times table is easier than the six, seven or eight times tables.

Recently Transum started collecting data about the time taken to answer each individual question in order to find which multiplication facts were proving to be the hardest. The data shows that 8 × 12 takes more thinking time to work out than the others.

The easiest multiplication fact is 11 × 2 which took on average 1.32 seconds thinking time.

There are three stages to learning multiplication facts. The first stage involves figuring out the fact for yourself and understanding the concept. Stage two involves being able to recall the facts based on relationships with other facts or by employing quick mental calculations. The final stage is achieving ‘automaticity’ which is the ability to know the answers immediately just as one would know that grass is green. A variety of drills, games and activities help move pupils through the stages until that have that instant recall that demonstrates knowledge.

Unlike other studies, this research is based on the thinking time that leads to the correct answer rather than the number of times the question is answered correctly compared to the number of times it is answered incorrectly.

Transum has been providing free online tests, quizzes and other mathematical activities since 1997. The site was created and is maintained by retired teacher and consultant John Tranter from Wolverhampton.

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### References

Tablesmaster The online twenty-question test that collected the data.

Statistics The key data summary showing times for individual multiplication facts.

Times Tables Other games and activities that help children improve their knowledge of the times tables.