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How to Calculate Quickly: Full Course in Speed Arithmetic (Dover Books on Mathematics) Paperback – 2 Jan 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; Reprint edition (2 Jan. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048620295X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486202952
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.9 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 411,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book, full of exercises to learn how to calculate quickly. However, some exercises are poorly explained so difficult to practice. It also takes a massive time investment to get through.
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By James Taylor on 26 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very happy
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I gave it a five star simply because the books is simple and very effective at getting you to learn the "art" of quick calculation.
I looked at all the others in that field. Most of them teach you tricks for quick calculation. To do certain calculation you need to remember the tricks. There are dozen of them and you just get confused. This book do not used trick but teach you "number sense" ... and how to calculate from left to right with complex number. Beleive me, I was affraid of that kind of calculation and with that book I learned a lot!
I used it because I am preparing for interviews in management consulting. Case study need you to do lots of quick mental calculation. I am very good with complex calculation but mental arithmetics is something else.
BUY THIS BOOK ... very slim, but as said before, lots lots of exercise well made and improving in difficulty ... cant say more, its the book I was looking for.
Amusing, it was first published in 1945 ...
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
It does what it says... 26 Mar. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Long collection of exercises to improve your mental calculating ability. This book will keep you busy for quite a while. It's slim but there's a lot of exercises in it. It will give you eough familiarity with numbers to do fairly large multiplication and division (let alone addition and subtraction) in your head. Fractions included. Requires no advanced math skills of any sort. Presupposes a knowledge of basic caluculation, that's it. No algebra, geometry etc.
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
I have kept my copy for years 7 April 2000
By William Meisel - Published on
Format: Paperback
and keep going back to it. It is important that a prospective buyer knows this book focuses on MENTAL arithmetic, i.e., no paper. If that is an interest of yours, then this is your book. If you are interested in "shortcuts", there are other books out there (though the last chapter of this book contains some of the more popular ones.) Don't think you can multiply two two-digit numbers in your head? you may be surprised.
48 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Rote, rote, rote 24 Sept. 2004
By Ray Kerby - Published on
Format: Paperback
Being fairly proficient in "mental math", I picked up this book to see if there were any useful techniques for calculating. I was very disappointed.

The author's approach seems to rely primarily on rote memorization and optimizing pencil & paper methods. This is fine if you have pencil & paper handy, but cumbersome if you want to "run a rapid mental check..." as they suggest in their book. Rather than provide new techniques that work for mental computation, the reader is asked to perform endless drills to allow you to mentally perform pen & paper methods.

Another problem is the reliance on memorizing special cases instead of focusing on general-use techniques. If it takes a person 10 seconds to determine which of the dozens of special cases applies to a particular problem, then he does not know "how to calculate quickly"

For example, one of the author's special cases, "Multiplying a Sum by a Difference," actually has a very broad use for multiplying any two integers, but it is presented only briefly as a very narrow application that you will likely never stumble across in real life (e.g. multiplying two integers whose units add to 10 and the tens have a difference of 1)

Overall, the heavy reliance on rote vs. technique makes this an unsatisfying work.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Essential for the novice bookkeeper 23 Aug. 2009
By Mike - Published on
Format: Paperback
A few years back, I had just started a job in payroll and was using a calculator to do things I really should have been able to do in my head. Quite frankly, this made me pretty terrible at that job. I had just figured I was not a "math person" with bad "number sense" and was not very long for that job without some help.

Lo and behold, a supervisor recommended this book when I expressed my concerns and willingness to do whatever it took to become better at my job. With a little work over the next month or so I proved myself entirely wrong at not being a "math person". There's no real magic to calculations in your head, but some techniques are better than others, especially for error-checking. A bit of hard work at drills and memorization can make you that much better. I stayed in the job for 3 more years and when I left I was one of the top people in a large office (200+) in terms of accuracy.

Provided you're not lazy and do the drills in the book, you'll increase your computation time after learning the practical tricks that bookkeepers have used for decades that the academy doesn't know and that your teachers never taught you in school (e.g. the division by 3 check, digit checks, adding from right to left, grouping tens, etc).

No academic jargon or nonsense or high-falutin theory. Just a regimen for improving your mental calculation speed designed for business. It's like exercise. It takes continuous work over time, and it's not always fun, but the results are worth it. Everything worth doing takes work, so beware of any "magic math systems" that instantly make you faster. There are no steroids when it comes to math.

If you're new in a payroll, bookkeeping or other field that requires fast mental calculation, an absolute must have.
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