Mental Math

Important note: This page list many helpful books and websites and training apps that you can choose to use, but you certainly don’t need to explore everything. You can simply find something that sounds interesting to you, start reading/watching/using it once a while and stop whenever you feel like moving on to something else. It’s great if you’re highly motivated, you want to train seriously and learn everything you can learn. It’s just as great if you don’t want to become an “expert” and you only want to learn a few cool tricks. It’s often possible to learn a lot with just one hour of concentration.

Some helpful instructional resources anyone can use:

  • I don’t know where most beginners or curious persons should start. Could be with this book by Arthur Benjamin. If you just need some inspiration and you’d like to hear some cool stories and tricks listen to this interview with the author. Of course there are other books you can use if you prefer. This one and this one for example. Some of them are quite cheap if you only buy the electronic version.
  • Would you like to be able to quickly square numbers like 73 or even 632 in your head? The methods involved are really cool and relatively easy to learn. This video explains everything. I think learning this is a great way for non-experts or even beginners to quickly manage some impressive-looking feats.
  • Many other cool advanced techniques are presented on
  • Links to many, many other instructional resources can be found on the newly formed website.
  • If you would rather learn with video tutorials, you could also choose to sign up for a free trial on “The Great Courses Plus” website, complete this video course (also by Arthur Benjamin) in less than 14 days and then cancel (or not) your subscription. Or if you prefer, there are many free videos of him and others that you can find on Youtube, including this one, this one and those ones. Many other affordable video courses can be found on
  • Another great (and shorter) free series of videos by another teacher is this playlist.
  • Can you quickly tell me what day of the week was October 23, 1743? Last year national mental math champion can calculate the correct answer to dozens of dates in just one minute! How? Here’s one not overly complicated way. And if you have a system for memorizing numbers, there’s also a much efficient method that takes longer to learn. Hopefully I’ll find the time to explain it here soon!
  • Many other instructional mental math websites that I haven’t explored yet are listed on the right side of the mentalmath subreddit.
  • For more advanced and difficult problems, it’s really helpful to learn how to use the art of memory to memorize numbers. It will allow you to make much more complex mental calculations all in your head without always having to note down the results of each intermediate step.

Mental math apps and games, for practice or for learning:

  • I use to use this simple and fast-paced game (no installation required) to procrastinate when I was a student. Don’t hesitate, to change the options to make everything easier if you want to. If you struggle with more basic forms of mental calculations, there’s no shame in spending as much time as you need drilling simpler problems. Building a solid foundation will make everything easier later on.
  • I’ve recently started playing around and enjoying the Mimir Mental Math app as well as the Mathemagic apps for Iphone. Seems great so far, with plenty of fun options and great instructional material.
  • Other free or affordable apps can be found on this page. The same page also includes sample disciplines and practice Excell sheets from the Canadian Mind Sports Association.