The importance of mental calculation


We live in a time where we have advanced calculators in our pockets at all time. What do you feel is the need for people to still have a basic skill in mental calculation?


I think more important than having basic skill in mental calculation is to be able to guesstimate the result. It does not matter much in real life if your cannot do 25.13 x 40.56 exactly. However; it is extremely handy if you can see that the answer is a little more than 1,000.
Of course being able to guesstimate well is tied to mental calculation.

There are lots of reasons why having a basic skill in mental calculation is a great skill to have:

  1. Numeracy; having a better grasp of numbers. Also means one cannot be easily taken advantage off (when dealing with money for example).
  2. If somebody else quotes the answer to a calculation, you can easily and quickly assess whether the answer is probably right or wrong.
  3. You look smarter when giving answers without grabbing for the calculator. People see you as intelligent.
  4. In negotiations and meetings it looks like you have the subject matter better under control when juggling the numbers at hand.
  5. Besides all this, it is great mental workout. Mental agility is important. Probably inhibits or slows down development of Parkinson’s Disease.


Agree with everything Kinma says. Sometimes you don’t have your phone on you and you need to be able to calculate mentally. It’s also an efficiency matter, you can work quicker if you don’t have to resort to using a calculator/phone.
Probably though point 5 is critical, improving one’s mental agility may be the most important benefit in an age where degenerative illnesses have risen exponentially.