The post Vedic Maths - How Relevant it is in this Digital Age first appeared on Maths funda.

]]>In recent days, there seems to be hype in the education industry over Speed Maths techniques such as Vedic Mathematics, Abacus Maths, Aloha etc.

The success of the movie ‘Shakuntala Devi’ – a biopic of the ‘Human-computer and Maths wizard’, may have played a part in this newfound interest among students. And the coaching institutes are bombarding us with their Ads about courses on these so-called Magical Maths tricks.

Whether you are yourself a student preparing for competitive exams; or you are a parent whose kid is still in school; We all have seen these Ads promising magical maths powers, on our Facebook wall; or in our Gmail; or while surfing the internet, or watching YouTube videos. Sure enough, on seeing such Ads, a question might have popped up in your head,

“

Is Vedic Maths really beneficial in today’s technology-savvy world, when we have calculators, android phones and the latest generation laptops that can give us the answers to some of the most complex and time-consuming calculations in a jiffy?!”

Let’s explore this question in this blog. ** **

As mentioned in the various websites and books on the topic, *Vedic Mathematics* is a set of techniques that help solve tedious and cumbersome mathematical problems quickly. These include, as per the above sources, unique methods for solving problems in diverse math topics like arithmetic, algebra, calculus, trigonometry, and coordinate geometry.

Credit for the development of these techniques goes to the late Jagadguru Swami Sri Bharati Krshna Tirthaji (1884-1960). He compiled these techniques from the 16 Sutras (verses) in the Vedas.

The word ‘Veda’ is a Sanskrit word which means knowledge. Vedas are a large body of ancient Hindu literature in India which contain an endless source of knowledge and wisdom in all spheres of life.

**Vedic Maths tricks** **and techniques** are very easy to learn. And they can be taught to kids as young as eight years of age.

Now, before we discuss whether there is any benefit in learning **Vedic Maths tricks**, let me share my brief experience with Vedic Maths.

I vividly remember the first time I got curious **about Vedic Maths**. It was in 2006.

I was attending a session of Quantitative Aptitude at a coaching institute, where I had enrolled for CAT (Common Admission Test for MBA entrance) exam preparation. The tutor was a 99+ percentiler in CAT and was pursuing his MBA course from IIM Ahmedabad. He had been invited to deliver a guest lecture at the coaching institute.

On that day, he was giving us tips on improving our speed in solving Quant questions. I listened intently hoping to learn a technique or two, which would improve my calculation speed.

One of the students asked him the utility of **Vedic Maths for Quantitative Aptitude** and Data Interpretation sections of CAT exam. In particular, would **Application of Vedic Maths tricks **be of any help in getting a high percentile in the exam.

Ironically, he told us that learning **Vedic maths** techniques is not required to crack the CAT exam.

On hearing the words Vedic Maths, however, I got curious to know more about Vedic Maths, even though the tutor advised not to give much importance to it. It intrigued me so much that after the class, the first thing I did was to go to the Crossword store and buy the book ‘*The Power of Vedic Maths*’ by Atul Gupta.

For the next few days, I pored over the book. And learnt a few **Vedic Maths tricks**, in doing addition, subtraction and multiplication quickly. That was how I got to know the fascinating world of Vedic Maths. Now, coming back to the question,

“

Is it worth it to learn Vedic Maths in today’s digital age?”

Well, although I got a high percentile in the CAT exam in my attempt in 2006, honestly, at that time, I did not analyse how much of its credit owed to Vedic Maths techniques.

Only when I started teaching Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation subjects to students of various competitive exams, did I realise the **benefits of Vedic Maths**.

Take the case of the CAT exam or any of the other Management entrance exams like XAT (Xavier’s Aptitude Test), MAT (Management Aptitude Test), SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude Test), NMAT (Narsee Monjee Management Aptitude Test), etc.

Sure enough, these techniques help in reducing a lot of time, especially when it comes to the Data Interpretation section of these exams.

In the Quantitative Aptitude section also, wherever addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of big numbers is required, the Vedic Maths techniques have helped students reduce the solving time.

The same goes for other competitive exams as well, like Bank PO, CDS (Combined Defence Services), etc. Here too, a lot of students have benefitted from these techniques in solving the questions at a faster rate.

Apart from helping students in competitive exams, there are many other benefits of learning Vedic Maths.

We see many students having Maths phobia. For them, Vedic maths can help generate interest in Maths. After all, it is relatively easy to learn.

And when you get to solve problems quickly using these techniques, your fear of Maths will go away.

Plus, it enhances the creative abilities in students, as it engages both the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

It also improves concentration and increases confidence. This can lead to better academic performance for students.

It helps generate interest in Maths.

Not only students but people of all ages can benefit from learning and practising Vedic Maths. For one, it helps in mental agility and improves memory power. In this aspect, it is akin to the mental gym, as it helps build the muscles of the brain. Thus, it can help ward off age-related ailments like Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

So, is Vedic Maths an elixir for all the mathematical problems?

Well, like with any cure or magical solution, Vedic Maths too, has its share of critics.

According to them, there are quite a few drawbacks of learning Vedic Maths.

One of the drawbacks cited is that the rules mentioned in Vedic maths are meant for a few specific problem categories only.

Also, for some operations like Multiplication, you will find many rules. This tends to create confusion in the minds of students.

Moreover, you need to memorize multiple rules and algorithms for various arithmetic operations.

In addition to the above, many regular schools and colleges don’t approve of the Vedic maths methods of solving in the exam; Which means, you cannot solve your school or college exam paper questions using Vedic Maths techniques.

It is also felt by a section of the experts that Vedic maths techniques don’t help in building a conceptual understanding of the various topics of Maths. They merely help in fast calculations.

Then there is an opinion that Vedic Maths techniques don’t help in understanding applications of mathematical concepts to real-world situations.

Now that we know about the advantages and some drawbacks of Vedic Maths, where does that leave us? Well, I personally feel that the potential benefits of Vedic Maths far outweigh any of its possible drawbacks. And so, while understanding its limitations, you can practise Vedic Maths as a hobby. It will certainly keep us mentally young and agile.

The post Vedic Maths - How Relevant it is in this Digital Age first appeared on Maths funda.

]]>The post How to get high score in Quantitative Aptitude first appeared on Maths funda.

]]>Are you aiming to crack any competitive exam in the coming one or two years? Or, do you know someone from your family, relatives, or friends who have such a goal? If so, then your chances of success would, in general, depend very much on your score in the Quantitative Aptitude or numerical ability section of the exam. After all, the Quant section is one of the mainstays of most of the competitive exams.

Now, what if maths happens to be your most difficult subject?! Or, if you have not been a bright student in Maths in your school/college days… Can you still realize your dream of getting a good rank in your competitive exam? Of course, you can!!

All you would ever need is to have a **‘Success mindset and Success skillset (habits)’** installed in you.

You will also need to have ‘a sound plan for mastering the Quant section’.

And finally, you need to develop a bullet-proof strategy for D-day.

In fact, if you want success in any worthwhile endeavour in life, these are the very same ingredients you will ever need.

Let’s first start with…..

A success mindset is a specific set of beliefs you have about yourself and about life in general, which propels you towards any dreams you may have in your life. It will uplift you when you encounter temporary setbacks or failures.

Having a success mindset starts with developing a belief that you can achieve any worthwhile goal you set your mind to. Your past need not equal your future unless you allow it to.

You are not a fixed entity having a fixed amount of IQ. Your talent or ability is not restricted by your genes or environment or horoscope.

You can grow your talents… You can learn any new skill or habit required for attaining your goals or vision. And there is no limit to that constant growth and self-development. The only limits are those you harbour in your mind.

It also means that you take responsibility for what is happening in your life. If something is not working as per your wish, it means that your present beliefs are sabotaging you from attaining your goal. It doesn’t mean you have to quit the goal. You just need to replace your present beliefs with those that bring you success.

Along with developing a ‘Success mindset’, you will need to install **‘Winning habits’** in yourself.

As Aristotle said, “

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

So, which are the habits that propel you towards success? If you don’t know what these habits are, think of a successful person in any field; Or, better yet, search for people who have achieved what you aspire to.

For instance, let’s say you are preparing for the CAT (Common Admission Test for MBA) exam. You can watch the videos of interviews with candidates who have scored above 99 percentile and have secured admission in their dream colleges. Or you can read their interviews.

Find out what their habits are, that have helped them succeed. Make a list of habits that are common to these people. Then, start learning these habits…Over time, you too can model their success.

Once you have installed the ‘Success mindset’ in you and started building on the necessary habits, you will then need to prepare a **‘Concrete plan of action’**. This is going to guide you in attaining your cherished goal; in this case, mastering the Quantitative aptitude.

You may also like to join a reputed coaching institute and buy some reputed books on the topic. These would provide the necessary boost to your preparation efforts.

Now, most students think that once they join a reputed coaching institute, their job is done; that they will automatically leapfrog to success. They don’t give much importance to self-preparation. They think naively that the concepts taught at the coaching institute will remain etched in their minds forever.

Don’t fall into that trap. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Of course, if you are the product, Coaching helps in the development of the product. However, ultimately your success is directly related to the amount of effort you put into mastering the concepts you learn in coaching.

“

One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” – Arthur Ashe

That means, depending on your current level of competence in Quant, you need to chalk out a strategy for one to two years of focussed preparation.

Let’s say you,

You would also need to decide on the minimum number of hours dedicated to practice, every day. Generally, a daily practice of 2 hours is essential during the initial months. As the exam day nears, you need to progressively increase it to 4 to 5 hours per day.

Next, identify which are the topics you would prepare first. For this, see which are the topics that are the most difficult for you. And out of these, which ones carry a higher weightage based on past years’ exam papers.

During the first three months, learn the concepts of these topics thoroughly. Also, solve as many numericals on these topics as you can, going from easy to slightly difficult.

Also, prepare a chart of the formulae of all the topics. Keep it pasted or hung in front of your study place or bed, so you can see them every day.

Make a habit of spending about five to ten minutes every morning and night focusing on these formulae.

Once you get a grip on the most difficult topics,

During this time, start solving questions on all the other topics also. Your focus now must be on improving speed without losing accuracy.

Also, try solving questions of a higher difficulty level and check your solutions with those provided in the book. This way, you will know the alternate methods of solving questions. You will also come across many short-cut methods that will save you time.

In addition, learn the various speed calculation techniques for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages, etc. Always, practise solving problems using these techniques, so you become excellent in them. Learn to solve the question while reading. As far as possible, try not to use pen and paper.

Now comes,

In this period, keep up the momentum you sustained during the previous three months. Also, increase the number and variety of problems you solve daily. Ensure that they are from the previous 10-15 years of test papers.

Focus on multiple methods of solving them. This will let you get a grip on the exam-pattern questions. It will also tell you which methods are more suitable for different types of problems. You will also learn how to arrive at the solution with the least amount of time spent.

Your aim must be to solve the question within 1 minute, in general.

You must also learn to arrive at the solution through options. This will help you a lot in saving precious time during the exam.

It will also come in handy for the difficult questions in the exam. In such questions, learn to narrow down the available options to two. And then, try arriving at the answer through intelligent guessing. It will seem difficult initially…but with practice, you will become better at it.

Here’s what you need to do…

This is the time when you need to practise lots of mock tests and previous years’ papers… and that too, under the simulated test conditions.

This will help you know your weaknesses which tend to get aggravated by stress. With this practice, you will be able to manage your weak points.

During the final month, keep an aim to complete two mock tests per day, along with analysis of their solutions. Keep up this practice until a week before the exam.

Now that you are battle-ready in terms of your subject preparation, you need to ensure that you leave nothing to chance when it comes to success on the D-day.

So, a week before the exam, you need to slow down your pace.

Learn to relax and unwind. Watch inspirational movies…

Practise short meditation sessions of about 10 minutes, whenever you feel stressed.

Go for a walk in nature; You can also listen to your favourite music; Or, you can do any other activity that helps you de-stress.

You also need to nourish yourself with healthy food. Avoid junk food.

Also, avoid watching violent movies or mindless social media binging or negative news.

You also need to review all the instructions mentioned in the Hall ticket.

Prepare a check-list to carry with you on the exam day.

Visit the exam centre a day or two prior to the D-day… This way, you will get an estimate of the time it takes to reach the exam centre… You will also know which mode of transport you will use and how you can get to the exam centre on time.

Finally, here are,

Eat healthy food and take a good amount of rest during the previous night.

Do a short meditation and visualization exercise. Have a light and healthy breakfast.

Check all the items needed before you start from home.

Keep all the study material at home.

Arrive at the exam centre, at least one hour before the deadline mentioned in the hall ticket.

Note all the instructions carefully.

Avoid casual gossip with people about how tough the exam is going to be.

Also, control the urge for last moment preparation.

Don’t immediately rush to solve the first problem you see. If your test is a paper-based one, spend the first 2 minutes glancing through it.

Decide on the priority; that is, which questions you will tackle first, and which ones later. You also need to mark those questions that need to be avoided.

In an online test also, generally, the system allows you to shuffle back and forth between different questions of the same section. So, here also, you can glance through all the questions of a particular section in the first two minutes or so… and then, start solving questions based on the priority you have set.

What if the exam is similar to the GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test)? GMAT is an online exam. And here, you will not have any scope for shuffling between the questions. For such exams, you are left with no choice but to solve the questions as they appear on the screen. Now, if the question happens to be a tough one, just check whether you can narrow down the options given to two… and make an intelligent guess at the answer.

Also, don’t get bogged down when you see other students solving feverishly… Have trust in yourself and your preparation and give it your best shot.

Once the test gets over, let go of your expectations… now is the time to graciously accept whatever result you get. Because, once you have given it your all, you will not be denied the desired result.

“

Surrender to what is, let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.” – Sonia Ricotti.

Hope this article helps you in your preparation.

Here’s wishing you the very best!

The post How to get high score in Quantitative Aptitude first appeared on Maths funda.

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