Why I give up mental arithmetic

I never believed in miracles, perhaps on one occasion I thought that willpower, sacrifice and constancy would amount to something like miracles. But I was wrong.

You can see someone with talent in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmaaq_cRGFY. It ends in only 38 seconds something that requires me 1 minute and 27 seconds. The difference between the talented and the persistent but untalented is abysmal.

You have to use reason, recognize your own limits, it’s healthy. Perhaps with this failure I have learned something.

I think, then, that this is going to be my last message. I would like to thank all the people who have helped me, especially @Kinma.

Well, the work on logarithms, antilogarithms, additions, multiplications, etc. is still there and perhaps they can be useful to someone with talent.

A greeting

Since you have said this I will challenge mental arithmetic seriously with solely willpower, sacrifice, constancy and a lot of thinking. Or so I would like to say but it’s much too soon to come to this conclusion:

There are plenty of people who have started slower then you and have spent a longer time and are much faster now. You can definitely beat the person in the video without talent.

In the end when you do anything people will say that this is talent, essentially what follows after comes to be known as talent when its ‘impressive’.

Yet there isn’t a single world champion who claims they rode the entire wave on only talent.


what do you use? Not academic timestable style is it?

try soroban(abacus), that is the ultimate mental arithmatic answer. And like the ultimate technic to memorisation-memory palaces, it too has been declining


Let’s be honest here.
You do this in 1min 27 sec.
I cannot do this faster (however; I never train for this kind of calculation)! My first try was 2 min 11 sec.
It will take a lot of training for me to get this down and I doubt I will ever reach 38 seconds!

The video maker claims to be able to do this in 26 seconds sometimes. I will never reach that speed!

But who cares?
You are comparing yourself to world speed champions. If you can do this (38 seconds), only 8 people in the WORLD are faster than you (maybe 20). Think about this. You are setting yourself up for failure comparing yourself to the 10 or 20 best in the world. And it becomes worse if we realize you only trained for half a year.

Why did you start with mental arithmetic in the first place?

No, you were not.
I think you reached an amazing level!
You are now officially better than 99.99999975% of the world population. An amazing level!!!

First of all; 99.99% cannot even do this mentally.
You can do this. And what’s better, you are really fast. You only need to become twice as fast.

I don’t even know why you want to want to beat these people. It would take an immense amount of training and dedication.
Why not become a generally good mental calculator, and after that decide at what point you want to become extremely good?

If you decide to stop posting; I am sad to see you go.
We had fun times! Would love to see you back from time to time.


You’re right, @Kinma

Thank you for making me think. I’m taking it too seriously, when it’s just a game.

It’s true that I feel healthy envy towards these people, these quick calculators. And you’re right, not everyone can reach their level.

Better to keep training without stress, to be a good calculator. See, now I feel more relaxed, without a heavy “burden” to carry.

Sometimes I behave like an immature :stuck_out_tongue: , but well, that’s the thing about the game, it makes you want to be the best.

Comparing yourself with others is a game nobody wins

1 Like


This site
lists 66 people who have solved all ten correct in less than 380 seconds (therefore with an average of less than 38 seconds per task).

The Memoriad official site lists 57 people who have solved all correct in less than 380 seconds (6 minutes and 20 seconds).

But not all of them coincide. So, probably around 80 people have solved all these 10 tasks correct in a competition environment. And I would estimate around 100 more people can get below that 380’’ in their home environment (since competitions actually entail an additional pressure to perform flawlessly)

But what about a person who does 7 minutes(420’’ all 10 tasks correctly) ? I think that person can definitely solve 1 correct in under 38 seconds, because 1 task is always easier and less tiresome than 10.

On the main topic, I have been in many competitions and the fastest person on additions is definitely Mrs. Lee from South Korea. She has the world record with 10 additions correct in 100 seconds. I have seen her with my own eyes, that she can solve correctly 1 of such addition tasks in around 9 seconds. She does 3 numbers simultaneously, so she needs around 3 seconds for each 3-digit highlighted column, and this time includes typing the result as well, besides calculating.

The final 1-digit column she does it together with the 3-digit column, so essentially she is adding 4-digit numbers in the end. To sum up, she does the 3-digit column first, then the middle 3-digit column and finally the 4-digit column, which gives a 5 digit partial result, and 11 digits for the total answer (3 first digits + 3 middle digits + 5 last digits). All this done from right to left of course.

I agree with the initial poster. Hard work is not enough. There has to be some kind of talent, and it’s definitely not 1% talent/ 99%hard work as people use to say. In these types of skills, talent is at least 30-40% but of course this cannot be quantified easily.


1 Like