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.

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 Â£30 10% is Â£3 5% is Â£1.50 2.5% is 75p add the 3 up to get 17.5% total Â£5.25 now add that back to the original Â£30 to get Â£35.25 and see how much the communist government is ripping you off!! Seriously round numbers like Â£30 are easy but might be a place to start once you find it easy go for a number like Â£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

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.

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.

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.

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".

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!

It sounds silly but you'd be suprised how easily people who think they know long division slip up. Get some practise in at division.