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    Calculations x 20 tips

    The Calculations x 20 is the most frantic, challenging 15 or 20 (or 25 or 30) seconds that you’ll spend in Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training: How Old is Your Brain? The problems you need to solve are quite simple, but speed is what you need to lower that DS Brain Age a few virtual years.

    Although it helps to know basic maths (like 1 + 0 and 9 x 9), there are some techniques that you can try in an attempt to get that DS Brain Age down toward 20. Just like the simplicity of the game, sometimes the simplicity of the tips can make quite an impact on you. See which ones work for you.

    Staccato writing
    The Brain Training handwriting recognition is good, but it likes to read numbers separately. If you’re a person who slides your pen from one number to the next, you’ll want to avoid this technique with the stylus.

    Although the Touch Screen is big, your numbers don’t have to be as big as the Touch Screen. The software does need enough definition between numbers, but the more economic your stylus strokes, the quicker you can move on to the next number.

    Don’t look at the Touch Screen
    It’s human nature to want to see what you’re writing, but you need to trust yourself. When you take your eye off the problems, you have to find your place again, and you lose valuable split-seconds in the process. Stay focused on the problems.

    Know the operation
    Directly under your current problem, you’ll see the next problem you need to solve. As you’re writing your answer to the current problem, look at the centre of that next problem you need to answer. When you know the operation you need to perform, you can digest the problem quicker.

    Seeing the multiplication sign prepares you for the possibility that the answer can be a larger number. If you start from the left, you could be thrown for a loop on 8 x 7. If you can ‘see’ the entire problem at once, that’s even better, but if you find yourself getting tripped up when multiplication enters the picture, start looking for that ‘x’ before you look for the numbers.

    Repeating numbers
    It’s a common déjà vu moment: You just wrote the answer ‘8’ and 10 - 2 is the next problem. It’s common to pause, think, ‘Hey, I just wrote that’ and question your maths. You’ll have to put those thoughts aside as you’ll occasionally see repeating answers in addition to answers where the answer digit is also in the problem.

    Feeling that DS Brain Age drop yet?
    You’ve got the maths, you’ve got the tips and now you need to get your Game Card out and see how sharp you can be.

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