How to get faster at thinking

Hey all, I'm a pretty good physics and maths student, I'm starting my physics BSc in February 2009. But one thing I've found is that I'm slow at thinking. I nearly always run out of time for exams, which is frustrating. Also, it takes me a few seconds to do questions like '153 minus 8'. So, anyone have any idea how to get more snappy? This is hardly a complex maths problem haha, so might not justify being asked here, but can't think of anywhere else to ask. Anyone got any tips for how I can get more snappy at little sums?
 
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Im at 10th grade and i have the same problem than you. I'm getting worse at simple mental maths probably because we're allowed to use calculator. What i found that helped me improve is doing all the mental calculations myself and not in the calculator.
As some say maths are exercises to the brain. Who knows.
 
Like Sahka said, practice practice practice, and never use a calculator unless you have to.
 
Practice, as in just do practice questions? Like this:

http://www.thatquiz.org/tq/practice.html?arithmetic

I suppose I could do that for a bit every day. And I'll try not to use calculator, that might be part of the reason, I honestly use my calculator for anything which digits go above 20 haha.
 
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Also, when doing exams, try to read through your exam at the start and pick out the questions you know you can do quickly and easily, and do them first. This will help you to get on a roll for the tougher ones.
 
I have a similar problem to this, only to a lesser degree. My advice (for you, myself, and anyone else for whom this is a problem) is to find a book on speed maths or something similar. You're local library might be a good place to start. If you're local library hasn't got anything (or more likely hasn't got anything deep enough) you should check out a university library (do you have any friends/relatives who are current students/staff at a university? If so then you should ask them if you can borrow a couple of books on their account. If not, then you may have to wait until next year when you start uni/college/whatever you want to call it.)
 
Soon enough, there won't be any numbers in math
 

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