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I suck at Calculations, am I bad at Math?

  1. Nov 24, 2015 #1

    So honestly I suck at making Calculations in my mind, like guessing the result of 66 x 5 !

    Does that indicate something about being bad at Mathematics ? Or it does not matter ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2015 #2
    As long as you love yourself and know when to run for your life once you meet dangers, you are perfectly mentally fine to me. I think after one reaches 35 or so (almost half of one's lifetime :nb)), s/he will change his mental power from processing numbers to computing with words.
  4. Nov 24, 2015 #3
    Doing math, like anything else, is about practice. The fact that I can do 66 x 5 in my head is more a result of me doing multiplication a thousand times a day opposed to being indicative of my intelligence. Intelligence is about being able to pick something up if you practice it, my guess is because you view yourself at sucking at it, you avoid it and don't practice it. There are plenty of mathematical games your your phone, try one, you might find yourself able to do math much more easily if you find a way to wake it rewarding rather than a labor.
  5. Nov 24, 2015 #4


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    Guessing the result of a calculation is never a good idea. The trick is to see if one calculation can be replaced by a few, simpler calculations.

    In the instant example, 66 = 60 + 6. If you want to compute 5 * 66, then that's the same as 5 * (60 + 6) = 300 + 30 = 330. Viola! as the French say. :wink:

    Doing arithmetic mentally is a skill, which needs to be practiced constantly in order for one to remain proficient.

    Over a number of years, people have developed a number of mechanical devices before computers and calculators to do calculations, yet the development of higher mathematics has continued.

    Some people are bad at math because they make careless mistakes during computation, and they stubbornly won't check their work once it is done. A number of examples of this can be found in the HW threads at PF.
  6. Nov 28, 2015 #5
    Note that doing multiplication or arithmetic in your head quickly requires some degree of memorization. That's why you memorize times tables as a small kid.

    You should have memorized the results of all combinations of addition/multiplication of single digits at least.
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