Consulting is not just about complex financial modeling in Excel – mental maths is equally important so you can do quick calculations and respond to queries from clients easily. It can also help to ensure the complicated formulas you’ve entered in Excel are working correctly – a tiny mistake could jeopardize the overall results.
The best way to improve mental maths is simply by practice…though if you like to do some reading beforehand ‘Secrets of Mental Math’ by Arthur Benjamin and Michael Shermer comes highly recommended
The following 10 resources will help to improve your mental maths skills:
1) http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/maths The BBC offers a good selection of maths skills for adults here, covering calculations to fractions, percentages and graphs. Includes games and videos for easy learning
2) https://www.youtube.com/user/tecmath A great youtube channel full of tips and tricks to get you round the ins and outs of everything mental maths related! As a taster, here is how to calculate sums super fast…
3) http://www.speed-maths.com/ Games and articles with hints on how to improve speed maths. Includes number squares which may be useful if you have a memory that can remember pictures well
4) http://arithmetic.zetamac.com/ A tough 2 minute arithmetic speed drill here!
5) http://www.netagency.co.uk/keyedin2/mental.html Tests hereinclude percentages and decimals – each answer must be given within 15 seconds so keep your eye on the time!
6) http://www.momonix.com/calc/ A great simple maths generator that gives you sums that you must enter the answer to.
7) http://www.quizfactor.com/quiz/mental-arithmetic/80 20 question maths quiz that races against the clock!
8) http://www.fibonicci.com/math/mental-arithmetic-test/ Easy, medium and hard tests here – the hard section includes squared roots and powers! That’s pretty nifty to do that in your head!
9) http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index.php/2012/05/09/everyday-ways-to-improve-your-mental-math-skills/ An interesting article here on how looking at the world with a maths focus in your everyday life will improve your mental maths
10) https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/math-workout/id497620537?mt=8 Why not download the ‘Math Workout’ App? Perfect to keep your brain ticking over the essential mental maths know how when you’re on the go, rather than only doing the sudoku in the paper…!
Now after you’ve completed all these exercises, take the Telegraph’s primary school maths test comparison http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/primaryeducation/9820408/Can-you-pass-the-primary-school-maths-test.html
And the Guardian’s GCSE one next…! http://www.theguardian.com/education/quiz/2013/aug/22/are-you-smarter-than-a-16-year-old-gcse-maths-quiz
See – all that stuff you did at school sometimes does come back to bite you! So keep the mental maths practice fresh!