Mental Math Coaching

mental math
New answer on Apr 30, 2022
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 29, 2022

I know there are specific resources out there but any of the coaches offers specialised coaching for mental maths? 

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 29, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (3.900+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

You can always write down the math, unless the interviewer explicitly asks to do the math in your head, which is quite rare. For this reason, I would recommend to prioritize how to approach math and avoid mistakes rather than mental math

In terms of how to approach the math in a case, this is what I would recommend:

  1. Repeat the question – sometimes candidates do mistakes answering the wrong question
  2. Ask for time and explain how you would like to proceed, presenting the formula you want to follow
  3. Perform the math and present the interim steps to keep the interviewer aligned – don’t just say the final number
  4. Continue with the calculations until you find the final answer
  5. Propose next steps based on the results you found

In terms of avoiding mistakes, I would recommend the following:

  1. Use 10^ to account for zeros. For example 3.2B/723M is equivalent to 3200*10^6/732*10^6, which helps to do the math correctly
  2. Ask if it is fine to approximate. The interviewer may allow to approximate numbers to simplify the math. In the previous example, you could approximate as 320*10^7/73*10^7 and simplify the computation
  3. Keep good notes. One reason why candidates do math mistakes is that they don't keep their notes in order, thus forget/misreport numbers
  4. Divide complex math in simpler steps. If you have to calculate (96*39)*10^6, you can change the math as 96*40 - 96*1 = 100*40 - 4*40 - 96*1 = 4000 – 160 – 100 + 4 = 3744*10^6
  5. Use shortcuts for fractions. You can learn by heart fractions and speed up/simplify the computation - the most useful are 1/6, 1/7, 1/8, 1/9

I would also recommend to practice math under pressure - not just math. Many candidates are fine calculating 67% of 67 without pressure, but freeze when asked to do so in a real case interview.

In order to practice, try to use a timer with a strict time constraint when you do math on your own– this will create pressure and help to replicate the real setting of the interview.

If you need more help please feel free to reach out, I do a session specifically on math including all the points above and more.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Andi
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Apr 30, 2022
BCG interviewer (>175 candidates) |96% coaching success rate, if 3+ sessions | Coached 50+ candidates to MBB offers

Hi there,

feel free to reach out - I'll be able to teach you the exact techniques and focus areas you'll need to master consulting case interviews as well as any analytical assessments relevant for consulting recruiting.

In general, while quant acumen is a crucial factor to succeed in the interview process, the Maths concepts you're expected to master not overly complicated. Please reach out to me or other coaches via PM to learn more, I'll be happy to tailor an approach that's specific to where you stand today.

Regards, Andi

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 30, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Although a coach can for sure help, I don´t think a 1h or even a few sessions would truly help with that. is better to have a method that is well though of (you can buy a number of materials in the internet) and then: practice, practice, practice. 

Working with a coach can be useful after, when you are more or less solid, to test the applicaiton on real cases. 

Cheers, 

Clara

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Cristian
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Content Creator
replied on Apr 30, 2022
Highest recommendation rate / Top McKinsey coach / 100% success rate at >4 sessions / Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Hi there, 

I can, but if you're not under time pressure, I'd recommend you develop the mental math part on your own. As a coach I can give you guidance on the types of exercises you can do to improve in the fastest way possible, but then it's on your to actually do the work consistently. 

I developed a method while I was applying myself and managed to double my speed in two months - I kept a daily log that looks rather scary, but in the end it was effective. 

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Ken
Expert
replied on Apr 29, 2022
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

I think most coaches offer this but I personally would do so with a practice partner and/or use one of the online resources out there.  Where I feel paying a coach is justified is for structuring the math in a case, communicating your steps and drawing implications from the math.

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 30, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

A section of my offline materials do include techniques and tips/tricks for mental math as well as specific exercises to train this! I also do run live sessions to help you work through this and see the tricks/shortcuts you can use.

Feel free to message if interested!

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Adi
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Apr 29, 2022
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

My honest view is that you dont need a coach for this. Please invest time to practice this yourself and with peers/friends/partners. There are plenty of tools available online and also on PrepLounge. Please also browse the Q&A forum on this subject.

(edited)

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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