Is abacus really making arithmetic simple?

Most of us consider mathematics as boring and tough subject but for some students, it is very easy that they can score 100/100. Personally, also I found mathematics as a boring and tough subject and wanted to master mathematics easily. So I tried to found various learning tricks and methods to improve my math skills and later I found that mathematics is an easy subject as compared to literature and other subjects. The best way to master this subject is to learn different methods and practice questions as many as possible.

Arithmetic is one of the most important branch of mathematics which involves the study of numbers and mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division on them. Every student wants to perform these mathematical operations rapidly. One of the famous and ancient mathematical tool known for solving arithmetic calculations is Abacus. But is abacus really make arithmetic easy?

Are you curious to know the answer?

Let’s find out.

In order to get an answer to any questions first, we must ask questions related to that topic. In our case, before we figure out if abacus is really helpful to make arithmetic easy and simple, first let’s try to understand the

Question 1: What is Abacus?

Question 2: What is the history of Abacus?

Question 3: how Abacus works

Question 4: Is Abacus really making arithmetic simple?

What is Abacus?

Abacus is a simple ancient mathematical tool used for performing arithmetic calculations. It is a rectangular frame having vertical or horizontal arranged rods on which beads slide.

It is a very useful tool to teach and learn basic arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. You can even find out the sum of negative numbers, square roots, and cube roots.

History of Abacus

According to historians, Abacus was invented around 5000 years ago but the exact origin of Abacus is still unknown. It was used as a mathematical calculating tool in ancient Europe, China, and Russia. In ancient times, Abacuses were constructed using beans or stones that slide up and down on the grooves of sand or wooden or stone or metal rectangular frame.

Here are the examples of some of the ancient Abacus designs

Roman Abacus

Japanese Abacus

Chinese Abacus

Russian Abacus

How Abacus works or How to use Abacus?

Let’s try to perform a small mathematical operation (101 + 562) and see how abacus will help us to solve this problem.

To solve this problem, we will use Suanpan Abacus (Chinese Abacus).

Step 1: Orient the abacus as below


The beads in the top row represent the number value 5 and each bead in the bottom row represents the number value 1 and each column of beads represents a “place” value from which you build a numeral.

Step 2: Now let’s enter our first number 101 as follows

Step 3: Now start adding numbers from left to right. The first number you will add is 1 and 5. In this case, we will move the top bead which has value 5 as below.

Now count the beads. So the answer becomes 6

Step 4: Now we will add 0 and 6. So, in this case, we will move one bead from the top and one bead from the bottom as follows

The total becomes 6

Step 5: Now we will add 1 and 2. So in this case we will move two beads from bottom as follows

The total becomes 3

Step 6: Count the beads to get your answer (101 + 562 = 663)

Is Abacus really making arithmetic simple?

Abacus has been around for more than thousands of years and it is still used by merchants, traders and clerks in some parts of Europe, Russia, China, and Africa. Many people use and teach Abacus to their children. It is found that expert Abacus users can perform arithmetical operations almost as fast as a person with a pocket calculator. Apart from solving arithmetic operations, it has other benefits also such as

  1. Improves proficiency in Mathematics
  2. Sharpens memory power
  3. Improves concentration
  4. Improves logical reasoning

As per the study conducted by Nisih Freeman of “The Abacus Club”, the performance of children who were using Japanese Abacus increased at an average of 40% as compared to non-Abacus students whose performance increased by 8%. The performance includes computational skills, oral counting, identification of numbers, objects counting, and language.

Students generally describe math as a boring and terrifying subject due to which they are not able to visualize and understand arithmetic concepts. The use of Abacus can make this subject more interactive and engaging. As a result, students will become more confident and motivated to learn mathematics. Abacus is very effective in correcting student error, promoting visualization, and enhances the retention of arithmetic concepts.

Learning Abacus is fun and it also makes math more interesting and enjoyable.

If you want play with Abacus online, visit this website and enjoy math.

If you want to play with Abacus offline, buy Abacus tool from here.

Professor Atom

View posts by Professor Atom
Professor Atom is a science enthusiast and alumni of IIT Bombay. According to him, every question can be solved with curiosity and mind mapping. ( Curiosity = Asking Questions = Learning )

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