7 Ways You Will Use Math in Real Life

Monday, March 13, 2023

The most asked question in Math class is “When Will I Ever Use Math in real life?” Ms. Umoora Minhaji, a math tutor at Ostaz, told us that ironically enough, the usage of Math in everyday life is as common as this question.

At Ostaz, we have the best math tutors; they are all highly qualified experts and they have one thing in common: they love math! So, we asked them to share their experiences with how they use Math in their daily lives.

Advanced Math courses such as Algebra, Calculus, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Statistics might scare or overwhelm students.

Consequently, Math can be quite easily seen as a nonsensical alien language that students can easily neglect and tend to perceive as a dreadful and impractical subject.

However, whether it’s advanced math courses or basic numerical computation with the four operators (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), the real question is: in what real-life situations are people not using Math?

“People unconsciously use Math in their everyday lives whether they have studied Math at any level or not. Even an illiterate person needs to have some ideas about calculations when buying something or traveling” - Ms. Umoora Minhaji - Ostaz Tutor

1. Shopping

You enter a clothing store and see the ‘20% sale’ sign. To calculate the after-sale price of an item, you need Math! Math will come in handy whether it’s discounts on groceries, coupons, or computing change at a supermarket.

2. Converting Currencies

Whether you’re traveling abroad or if you live in a country that adopts more than one currency, converting currencies requires mental calculations. Math allows people to answer questions like ‘how many Euros is $100?’ or ‘how many Dollars are 500 Pounds?’ Math provides you with the ability to quickly compute and convert any currency into your desired currency, provided you have the exchange rate of those currencies.

3. Cooking

Yes, you use Math in the kitchen, too! Cooking requires performing calculations of the proper measurements of a recipe by figuring out the exact amount of each ingredient to add. When cooking for several people, multiply the portions of the recipe according to the number of people you want to serve, as the serving size should be proportional to the number of people you’re serving.

4. Converting Units on the Metric System

If you’ve ever run into situations where you’ve had to ask yourself, ‘how many liters is 750 milliliters?’, ‘how many kg is 1 pound?’, or ‘how many decimeters are 1 meter?’, using conversion rates and Math will help you figure out the answer to these questions.

5. Budgeting Your Travels

To go on vacation, you need Math nation! Math can be used for planning and budgeting your trips. For example, you can calculate your total expenses by multiplying prices (like the price of a hotel per night) by the number of days you’d be staying in another country.

6. Paying the Bill at a Restaurant

Paying and/or splitting the bill or figuring out how much to tip at a restaurant requires mathematical operations like the percentage formula, addition, division, etc.

7. Making Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects

The accuracy and precision that Math teaches are used to build something, such as a DIY piece of décor or furniture, and to make or tailor clothes. Ostaz tutor, Ms. Zeina Mosleh says, “I think Math is used in real life whenever you want to construct things, set edges, or create dimensions.” Math courses given at school or university might seem not as useful and practical to real life, but they prime people to quick computation and systemic and analytical thinking, which makes them be on top of their game!

Thus, realizing these practical applications of Math could shift students’ perspective into seeing Math as an integral part of their daily lives. As Zeinab Adeel says, “the problem is that we have made Math something alien that doesn’t relate to us. We have to redefine the Math teaching approach.”