Any ideas for improving mental arithmetic?

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#3
Think about numbers.
 
#5
I'll let you add up my pay statement.

On a serious note. Get yourself a GCSE question paper (maths is an advantage) and as rabid suggests, practice. Another way is to play darts or chuck your calculator away.
 
#7
Stop using a calculator and do it in your head no mater how big the numbers get. Pick a number and double it as many times as you can. Practice putting the VAT on to prices for instance VAT on £30 10% is £3 5% is £1.50 2.5% is 75p add the 3 up to get 17.5% total £5.25 now add that back to the original £30 to get £35.25 and see how much the communist government is ripping you off!! Seriously round numbers like £30 are easy but might be a place to start once you find it easy go for a number like £231.42 use the same method and it will all help in the long run.

The darts tip is a good one for subtraction.

Dave
 
#9
Practice is the main thing, but try working out some short-cuts for yourself. For instance, simplify (say) 21 x 37 to 10 x 37 (370, just add a zero) twice plus 37 - so 370 + 370 + 37 which you can do in your head.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#10
As a serious post, one of the mental exercises I do to alleviate the mind numbing boredom of driving long distances is to work out the eta at present speed whenever I pass a roadsign.
Similarly the consumption, first in MPG then, (if another sign hasn't appeared to save me,) I try to convert it to KPL.
 
#11
When mental arithmetic was strong in the land, basis was multiplication tables. You need these to do the multiply by a bit then repeat it method. They really are best learned by singing in unison with others. Other than that it is like the route to Carnegie Hall - practice practice practice. Well worth it though when faced by young girls in shops looking for calculator to price three items at 15P each.
 
#12
Cutaway said:
As a serious post, one of the mental exercises I do to alleviate the mind numbing boredom of driving long distances is to work out the eta at present speed whenever I pass a roadsign.
Similarly the consumption, first in MPG then, (if another sign hasn't appeared to save me,) I try to convert it to KPL.
My how those long winter nights must just fly by..
 
#13
The road speed/time/distance thing helped me work out that my speedometer is quite inaccurate. For instance, at 100km/hr, 10km should take 6 minutes. The only way to achieve this is when my speedometer reads 106.5. We have some sections on highways nearby that are 110km/hr speed limited, for which 10km should take 5.45 minutes (5'27"). To achieve this, my speedometer reads 118.

At least, that will be my defence when I get tagged for speeding .... "No officer, your silly laser thingo is broken, my watch and the distance markers say so".
 
#14
Agree with all the above advice - Distance, Speed, Time also averages and multiplication / division - v. handy for turning paces taken into kms and vice versa, unit average etc. I got absolutely beasted at RCB on Distance, Speed, Time equations. Made my time at the map board v. unpleasant!
 
#19
whenever in a pub work out the cost of your round while waiting to be served
 
#20
I'm on my tech class 1 at the moment and as everyone has said the answer is simply practice and lots of it.

Using it for everyday tasks like buying a round etc are very good.
 
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