Months ago, I began the mission to improve my speed math skills. I sat down with Rob and we discussed how we should tackle the journey. Basically, there were so many ways to start; we did not know where to begin.
I began by deciding to memorise all the times tables between 1-10 x 2-25. Rob initially felt that was a lengthy task which seemed irrelevant. I admit I thought it would take much less time than first thought, but I did so based on the rationale that when given low questions such as; 0.04×0.16, to be able to know what 4×16 is by sight (no thinking, less than a second) would be a life saver in aptitude tests such as those at Optiver.
Months later, I see huge benefits to having done this. For the most part, division is a lot more efficient due to the memorisation of the times tables, but the greatest benefit has been the massive increase in mental aptitude and sharpness. The downside is, the process required a lot of structure to be motivated, goal setting and efficient, as well utilise a really good way memorise the tables; details of such as covered in my book “The Art Of Speed Arithmetic”.
Furthermore, we began by practicing simple addition. Nailing one integer (i.e. 7+8) with a goal of 0.7 seconds per question (0.85 on average). This was quite easy to be honest, just requires some short bursts of consistent practice on Speed Math Resource Number 1. Then we moved to two integer addition. Admittedly, I struggled to excel in this area. I was like any other student; on the game I couldn’t beat 7 stars. I was using an extremely inefficient method, and because of using this method, I hated doing larger addition, because it took me way too long. Then with some research and experimentation, I found a new approach. With a small amount of practice, I literally saw an increase to consistent 10 stars on the game, with my time to complete the questions only a fraction of what they were before. For those who are interested, I have detailed full examples and outlined this method in my book.
Shortly after this I began to practice my subtraction and found that ironically, it wasn’t as easy as I had originally figure. I first thought that, “if I learn addition, subtraction will come naturally”, well no, wrong. It requires a similar approach that needs a whole added way of thinking. Excitingly, it’s easy enough to learn to those willing to take up the challenge.
The biggest thing I learnt in the last few months is that with some consistent practice, and efficient methods, literally anyone can see huge results. I am now a lot more confident in my ability to do extremely well in the aptitude tests. There is much more to learn, much more challenging bits and pieces, however, I can get there with continued passion and hard work.
Much progress has occurred recently. I’ve ventured much further in to speed math and seen dramatic improvements in my performance. Obviously things slowed down over the Christmas and New Year break, inevitably I saw a poor performance upon returning to practice first week in January; however with a short amount of practice, things were back on track.
I’ve began developing and learning processes to do multiplication problems such as 4 x 82, and spent a long time develop processes for division such as 849 / 6 (discover amazing speed math at http://artofspeedmath.com).. I spent a while on division, and changed my mental process a few times before settling on what I truly feel is the strongest process. Looking back, I can remember fretting how I was terrible with division, and now with the right process and a bit of practice, I think it’s one the easiest things one can do!
Rob & I frequently sit down and say wow, look how far we’ve come it’s much more motivating, because now when I think of those aptitude tests, all I think of is that it really, truly is quite possible to not only pass but nail those questions.
The side of the coin was addition and subtraction. I began to practice the process of carrying numbers in addition through large questions such as 345756 + 234981 and 234965 – 85622 (learn free amazing speed math at http://artofspeedmath.com). It seems difficult but after I learnt the ways and developed a few tricks of my own, the questions are simple! I will note however, that subtraction requires much more focus.
Most recently, I’ve undertaken the speed mathematical challenge of doing 2 integer by 2 integer multiplication. This math is quite easy to complete using the correct system, but doing so in your head can be tedious when you’re trying to remember numbers. The skill does improve with practice. It is much easier to begin doing these questions by practicing squaring 2 digit numbers.
After months of intensive practice and tons of research I’ve come extremely far. As such, I’ve decided to develop a book that I personally feel, should exist on the market for students with similar passions to myself. All methods above, with full explanations and a complete system to follow and develop your abilities will be included in the Student 2 Trader book “The Art Of Speed Arithmetic” (learn free amazing math at http://artofspeedmath.com).