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Sun, 20 Sep 2020

What tips are there for solving mental arithmetic puzzles?

With mental arithmetic puzzles, the keys are two fold.

First - practice; you will get a lot better and more accurate with practice

Second - focus: don't let yourself get distracted whilst doing a calculation else things will start to go wrong

Start with simple puzzles and work up to harder ones. Realise how different operations relate to one another so that you can perform easier calculations where required.

For instance, if you struggle with percentages, know that being asked 50% of 100 is the same as being asked to divide 100 by 2 - whilst an obvious one with many other calculations it helps to be able to work out which operations are equivalent and rephrase a question in terms that are easier for you.

Also consider doing approximations or splitting calculations into smaller parts.

For instance, 22 x 37 = (20 x 37) + (2 x 37): it is much easier to work out that this is 740 + 74 = 814 than trying to do it all in one go.


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