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Any ideas about books I can get, from amazon? I need to get really good at mental math and math by hand because I'm taking an exam soon and that without a calculator.


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up vote 12 down vote accepted

One classic text is The Trachtenberg Speed System, which actually has an amazing history: Trachtenberg created the tools for the book (speed mathematics, including multiplication) while in a Nazi concentration camp, without the use of paper or a writing utensil.

The Wikipedia page gives a pretty good overview of the book, and there is a bit about Jakow Trachtenberg on Wikipedia as well.

p.s. Don't let the \$91 price on worry you; you can find many used copies for less than \$10.

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I got the kindle edition. – Algific Jul 31 '11 at 20:43
This was magic, can't believe I didn't learn this in school. Thanks. – Algific Aug 1 '11 at 4:35
@Algific -- glad you liked it. I didn't know there was a Kindle edition. – Chris Gregg Aug 1 '11 at 13:54
Glad to hear that it's still available. I have a very old copy. – user254665 Sep 16 '15 at 22:32

If you're looking for books about rapid arithmetic calculations, then these two books might be what you're looking for. They are Speed Mathematics and Short-Cut Math, which will cost you less than $15 for the both of them from Amazon. I bought them for my little sister a few years ago, since she wanted to learn some mental math tricks, and she said that they were both pretty good.

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I also need to do multiplication and division with decimal numbers by hand, is that also in those books? – Algific Jul 31 '11 at 19:28
I believe they did. They had everything that she had been interested in learning and I'm sure that included decimal multiplication/division. – Michael Banaszek Jul 31 '11 at 19:35

There is also "Secrets of Mental Math" by Arthur Benjamin.

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The best book for mental math and math by hand is Vedic Mathematics by Bharati Krsna Tirthaji. Just search in Google and Amazon.

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On the website you can find some tricks for mental arithmetic.

They are divided into various categories, like Multiplying numbers, Multiplying strategies, Basic memorization, etc.

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Talking of fast hand calculations, I think the works of Shakuntala Devi, should be inevitable to not to strike in. Check them out once, you may find it helpful

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I'm writing articles specially on mental math. right now I have published three articles one is for mental addition, second one mental subtraction and third one mental multiplication.

As this post is 3 years old, probably you must have already given your exam but any other person may find it useful.

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