What Mental Calculation method should I choose?


I want to improve my mental calculation skills, but there are so many different methods, e. g., flash anzan, Trachtenberg …
I am not quite sure, which method I should choose. I was hoping, that someone could help me.

I will use the method manly in everyday life and for work. That means, that I just need addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The numbers will not be that big (for addition/subtraction -> max. six-digit numbers, for multiplication/division -> max. four-digit numbers), but I need a method, that works with decimal places.

Do you have a tip, which method is most suitable?

Thank you.

Start reading this thread:

I am personally not a fan of Trachtenberg. For some reason it doesn’t click with my way of thinking.
That does not mean it is bad though. Try it out and see what works best.
This forum is filled with hundreds of answers for your questions.

The best advice I can give you is try everything and see what clicks with your mind.
Some like Arthur Benjamins system (google it or ask me) for multiplication, some like the criss-cross method better.
Try both and see what you like.

Also let me know if you want to do everything in your head without seeing the numbers or that you see the numbers on papers when calculating.
There is a difference in the sense that if you do everything in your head without seeing the numbers on paper you need to keep more information in your head and this means you need to start with simpler calculations. Don’t do 4 digit multiplications then. Start with 2x2 and then see if this comes easy.

Ask a lot of questions.
We can help you with everything.

Next to systems, learn how to check your answers quickly. See the link I just sent you in the previous post.
The method I describe is also great practice for expanding your mental range.

Thanks for the quick reply.

I want to do everything in my head, without paper.

This is the way I work as well.

You can start by training your mind to improve multiplication. Start with 2 by 2 digits. This is great for learning the shortcuts.

Don’t settle for one system.
When training, try to do calculations in different ways. So do the calculation 3 to 4 times using a different system at each time. This helps you to see the best shortcut later.
I often ask myself ‘can I find an even better way to calculate this?’.

Train yourself to do at least the following:

  • difference of squares
  • Arthur Benjamin also called the Anchor system
  • criss-cross

Abacus or left to right maths which is best for mental calculation world cup and which one is mostly used by athletes.