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Comfort with numbers

Someone asked on Sep 16, 2018 - 2 answers

Have you met anyone who was bad with numbers but succeeded at a case interview? Are you this person? What strategies did you or this person espouse in combatting lack of quickness and comfort with numbers in prep for an interview?

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Guennael replied on Sep 17, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

You can success at a case interview even if you math is bad... but only if you are particularly lucky - and nobody gets lucky every single time. Consultancies will make sure to test your math skill in at least one of the interviews, if not more.

How to get better is simple however: practice. There are different ways to do so, including using one of the many specialized books or of course using PrepLounge's solid material. Personally, I used caseinterviewmath.com about 10 to 15 minutes of day for a couple of weeks; the site ranks you by accuracy and speed so you see where you stand and how much you progress.

PS: If you think you are truly bad with numbers, please don't even try to join one of the top consultancies - you'd waste everyone's time. I am sure there are highly specialized consulting shops who need more qualitative than quantitative skills, but I don't know who they are. All the largest shops will require a solid background / affinity with numbers, no two ways around this.

Vlad replied on Sep 17, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School


I recommend to concentrate on the following:

1) Learn how to multiply double digit numbers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ndkkPZYJHo).

2) Learn how to work with zeros. You've mentioned - always use 10^power instead of zeros


300x9000 = 3*10ˆ2 x 9*10ˆ3=3x9*10ˆ(2+3)=27*10ˆ5

Handwritten it looks not that complicated. If you get used to writing all the numbers that way, you will never loosezeros and all multiplications/divisions will be replaced with + or -.

3) Learn the division table up to 1/11 (i.e. 5/6 = 83.3%). It will help you calculate any percentage problems

Good luck!