Times Tables Torture
Years 2 - 10

Work with a partner.
This activity will help you both remember your times tables.
You will learn other maths more easily if you are quick and correct with your Times Tables.


Short Explanation

(with thanks to Josephine)
  • Download this zipped file of Times Tables Photos.
  • Choose some you want to learn and make them into a slide show.
  • Choose the number of seconds you want each slide to be on screen.
  • Get someone to change the slides at the right time while you torture yourself trying to write the answers.
  • Check your answers with a calculator.
  • Repeat every day until you are quick and correct.
If you want more explanation keep reading. If not, get started.
If you want to be really scared watch this video first and do what it tells you.


Get Your Mind Ready

Times Tables are an important mathematical tool.
      You have to remember them for yourself.
           No one else can make you remember.
                Now you will torture yourself until you do.
                     Click to hear evil laugh ... Hah, ha, hah!


If you don't know anything about times tables, do the Exploring Times Tables activity first.
This activity gives you photos of every times table you need to know.
They look like the 6 x 7 photo.
Before you start you have to do these things:
  • Get your piece of paper or journal ready.
  • Save and organise the photos.
  • Make a slide show.
  • Get stuff ready to check your work.
Instructions are below.


  • On a fresh page, write the heading Times Tables Torture.
  • Quickly draw a line down the middle.
  • Quickly draw two (2) more lines to make the page have four (4) columns.
  • Write Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 as column headings.
  • You are going to torture yourself four times a week for about ten (10) minutes until you can answer them all quickly and accurately ... Hah, ha, hah!
Save Photos
  • Make a new folder in your computer called Torture Library.
  • Click the Zipped Photos File and save it in the Torture Library.
  • Extract all the photos into the Torture Library.
  • This is how it looks in my folder.


Have fun exploring Times Tables Torture.


Make Slide Show
  • Make another new folder in your computer called Torture Test.
  • Copy Cover, Start and Stop photos from Torture Library into Torture Test.
  • Choose twenty (20) times tables you want to test and copy them into Torture Test.
  • This is how it looks in my folder.

Every computer has an App-lication for making a slide show. Find out how to do it on your computer.

  • Make a slide show with Cover and Start as the first two slides and Stop as the end slide.
  • Put the other 20 slides in between in any order.
Other Stuff
  • A clock or watch that shows seconds changing.
  • One calculator (there's one on your phone).
  • You might need to print this Square Line Paper if you want to make a graph of your scores.
    Do it later if you need it.

Get Tortured

  • Choose the number of seconds each slide will show. Average is 5 seconds. Olympic Standard is 2 seconds.
  • Your partner is the timing person. They say Next and change each slide at the chosen time.
Now you are ready to get tortured by your own slide show ... Hah, ha, hah! ... Here's how you do it.

Timer shows the Cover slide ... final preparation

  • In the Day 1 column of your journal write the date, then the numbers 1 to 20 down the page.
  • All you have to do when you see a times tables is write the answer.
    See it ... Write it.
  • If you don't know the answer straight away, put a stroke   /   and wait for the next one.
    If you try to remember one that has gone you will get confused.
Timer shows the Start slide ... you're in the starting blocks
  • You say Ready, Set, Go and Timer shows the first slide.

At The End

The STOP sign tells you what to do.
  • Go back to the start.
  • With Timer's help check your answers with a calculator.
  • Write your score out of 20 at the bottom of the column.
  • Come back tomorrow ...and the next day ...and the next day ...to do it again with the same slides.
  • At the end of the week you can start a graph of your scores.
  • Next week make a new slide show and start over.

If you want to know how to work out Times Tables you don't know yet, use the Times Tables Chart from the Exploring Times Tables activity.

Just Before You Finish

You never finish learning your times tables until you reach Olympic Standard BUT every day you can improve your Personal Best.


Answers & Discussion

These notes were originally written for teachers. We have included them to support parents to help their child learn from Times Tables Torture.

Send any comments or photos about this activity and we can start a gallery here.


Maths At Home is a division of Mathematics Centre