Quick, Parent-Friendly (and Free!) Printable Subtraction Facts Test

How well does your child know the subtraction facts? Use this quick, printable, and free subtraction facts test to find out. Bonus: the detailed answer key will help you interpret the assessment results so you can help your child master all the math facts!

What are the Subtraction Facts?

The subtraction facts are the differences from 2 – 1 up to 18 – 9. Just like the addition facts, the subtraction facts lay the groundwork for the rest of elementary arithmetic. Without thorough mastery of the subtraction facts, your child will struggle as he tackles multi-digit subtraction, word problems, and long division. He’ll use so much of his working memory on simple calculations he’ll have little brain space left for understanding new concepts. This leads to solving problems more slowly, making more mistakes, and an overall lack of confidence in math.

How Fast Should My Child Know the Subtraction Facts?

Immediately is best, but it depends a lot on your child. Children who process information very quickly are quite capable of knowing each fact in less than 1 second, but children who are slower processors may always need a few seconds. As a general rule, aim for no more than 3 seconds per fact, without counting to find the answer. (Why no counting? Learn more here.)

When Should My Child Master the Subtraction Facts?

Children should master the subtraction facts after they’ve mastered the addition facts, ideally at the beginning of second grade. That way, they’re well-prepared to tackle second-grade math topics like word problems and multi-digit subtraction. But, if your older child hasn’t mastered the subtraction facts, it’s never too late.

What’s Included in the Printable Subtraction Facts Test?

  • Full directions for how to give the assessment
  • Test for all the subtraction facts from 2 – 1 up to 18 – 9
  • Answer key
  • Scoring guide to help you interpret the results and decide what to do next to ensure full mastery

The entire assessment takes less than 10 minutes. Grab your free printable subtraction facts test below!

11 thoughts on “Quick, Parent-Friendly (and Free!) Printable Subtraction Facts Test”

  1. You are right: knowing the addition facts does not mean that the child knows the subtraction facts.

    I teach them separately, but with the same two methods as the addition (and ONLY two methods)

    1) most of the time simple mental visualizations as I teach the “mayan” digits ( 1 dash = 5 , two dashes = 10, and 1 dot = 1)
    2) only in 6 cases (11 – 7), (12 – 8), (11-8) (11-9). (12-9),and (13-9) if you cannot mentally visualize mayan numbers, you can stop at 10 and think of subtraction as complement : how much do I have to add to 7 to get 11? 3 to get to 10, plus 1. Total 4
    90% of the time : mentally visualize “mayan” numbers.
    If that does not work, add from the smallest number, stopping at ten

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your assessments! I can’t seem to find the link to the subtraction fact assessment. Do you mind sending it to me. Thank you!

      • I’m not sure it’s working. It doesn’t contain a link. Thanks. Also, Kate, thanks for all of this. I did Multiplication FactsTS with my kid this spring and just purchased the other 3 for her and her younger sister. We love the game aspect!

  3. I was able to download the addition file just fine. It came in my email. But,for the subtracitonone, I’ve entered my email address and submitted it 3x and it’s not showing up.


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