Hi, I am looking to become a trader, the problem I keep running into is maths aptitude tests. I am very very slow when it comes to mental arithmetic. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I may improve. I have tried learning things like cross multiplication and some systems and I have imporved a little but I am still dog slow. I have done lots and lots of practice with books, but even then - still slower than most people. Also I find I can do a calculation if it is written down in front of me but if it is spoken to me - I forget the numbers ! ! ! I am not dumb - despite apearances to the contrary, I have a degree from Oxford but in my own private trading I dont find I need arithmetic and in my general life it isnt so useful to me either. Responses would be greatly appreciated

What do you need to calculate? Profits, losses and sizes? Guess you mean daytrading or scalping where you need to be fast. I am still looking forward to the day iÂ´m having trouble calculating my profits

I got good in mental arithmetic by running. I would do split times in my head. I would estimate my speed, distance etc. It taught me to do fractions etc in my head. Even trying to guess your reciept total in a store can help. You must be able to mentally picture something and it helps. If you have difficulty to determine complex number calculations, just estimate numbers. This will also help. Then if you need the exact number use a piece of paper or a calculator. Also remember that nowdays your computer/trading platform can do all the math for you. Just relax ,focus on the market and let the computer do its job

Great advice from private island.....don't focus on the math so much....try to get an "intuitive grasp" of the numbers...I think it really helps......Do you have a good memory? Like remembering where XYZ was when ABC was here or there? Did you attend Oxford with Clinton? Did you inhale?

I am not sure how to do this. But when I was in Junior high I was able to see all the number in my mind and keep them there. I was able to do the math and it was like my mind was a piece of paper. In elementary school they sent me to college to do math. By the time I was in 10th grade that ability was gone and when i got to college I had trouble with calculus because I had never learned how to be a good disciplined math student. It came so easy and then it went away. But I suspect by now there must be information on the internet regarding how one can make that photograph stick in you mind. When talking to people who are do math quickly in their minds they seem to do the manipulations in their minds eye.

I also forgot a key element to being good at mental math- Learn the times table VERY WELL> Do it over and over till you are perfect at it. Then learn some math shortcuts from a book like Short Cut Math. This will dramatically help you.

Thanks for all the replies I think I need to work on my mental visualisation. I can usually do the calculation pretty quickly, I just forget what I have already done too easily.

Maybe you have problem with short term memory. A useful tool to train is http://www.memorylifter.com/

Unless your writing complicated program trading theories, the level of mathematics you need to be a successful trader is small. If you begin to fall into or develop intricate money management techniques you will need a better understanding of certain types of math, but nothing that cant be studied by any competent trader. Good luck!