# Math dyslexia is a big problem for me. I lag behind my classmates

I am a 17-year-old secondary school student from India studying math, physics, and other subjects. I lag behind other classmates only because I work slowly when doing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Others are adept at working with numbers, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing in a matter of seconds in their heads. But I have to follow the traditional way as I lack the mental ability. How do I become faster?

• I am a 17-year-old secondary school student from India studying math, physics, and other subjects. I am currently in grade 11. I am preparing for competitive exams for engineering colleges.
• I am math dyslexic or dyscalculic. It is a big problem for me. I have to spend a huge amount of my time on the basic arithmetic operations involved in physics and mathematics courses. I lag behind other classmates only because I work slowly when doing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
• Calculators are strictly prohibited here. Solving maths becomes tedious and consumes a huge amount of time. I lost all my energy doing the basic operations alone.
• My other classmates can easily and quickly handle the numbers.
• I get less scores in timed tests and examinations in school despite I know all topics in physics and mathematics. I don't find the time sufficient to solve the sums during the tests. I'm finding it tougher to complete my studies and am losing interest because of this. This is highly demotivating.

Examples:

• I have to count the numbers like 6+5 with my fingers to add them up to 11.
• I spend almost a minute solving something like 965×532. \begin{aligned}965\\ \dfrac{\times 532}{1930}\\ 28950\\ \dfrac{482500}{513380}\end{aligned}
• I also have trouble remembering multiplication tables. I once again have to follow the traditional method of multiplication like a 7-year-old kid.
• On the one hand, not being able to do $6+5$ without using your fingers probably is a problem. But not being allowed to use a calculator to calculate $965\times 532$ seems to a bit pointless to me. I don’t know why they (your teacher) would make you do this if it’s not the pedagogical goal of the exercise… Feb 22, 2022 at 15:31
• Can you give us a rough notion of how many 3x3 multiplications (or calculations of similar complexity) are actually expected of you in a fixed exam period (and length of said period in minutes?)? For grins, I did the problem you mentioned the "old-fashioned" way and found that it took me about 30 s to complete it. That 30 s time requires complete immediate recall of multiplications and additions with arguments <= 12 to achieve. We need to understand the actual necessary level of performance to determine whether certain strategies will be enough to achieve it. Feb 22, 2022 at 20:01