Doing Maths on a Saturday Night – Day Minus 7

Saturday 23:05, Old Bethnal Green Road, London

I’ve just taken a maths test. It’s part of The MBA Handbook by Sheila Cameron. (I’m just going to call her Sheila; she has been with me nearly every single day for the last month and has travelled with me to Sweden, Belgium, Germany, USA and Canada – we’re definitely on a first name basis!)

So, Chapter 13 – Using numbers. I thought I could skip this chapter as:

1. My maths skills are ok; perhaps a little rusty, but ok
2. I didn’t think I needed to be able to do differential calculus
3. Parts of the chapter looked easy

Sheila wants us to diagnose our current skill level so we needed to do a set of basic exercises. This is what I’ve found out:

1. I can do decimals without a problem (e.g. 3/4 = 0.75)
2. I can do percentages pretty well too (e.g. 10/11 = 91%)
3. I’m pretty good working out exponents (e.g. 14² = 196)
4. Correction: I’m not that good at working out exponents (x³ × x² is apparently not x6)
5. My calculator (i.e. my phone) does not have a function for calculating square roots
6. I have no idea what a combination of square roots, integers and algebra does
7. I have no idea what the Greek letter Σ means in maths
8. Could not be bothered creating the graph of sales volume, production cost ($) and sales revenue ($) although I did see it in my head
9. I have no idea what 7 ≠ 7 means
10. I used to be good at algebra (20 years ago)
11. I still understand statistics
12. My arithmetic rocks! (I can do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division without any problem)

Ok, so I underestimated my current maths skills, and possibly the skills I need to have for the MBA? Having skimmed through this chapter, I’m still skeptical that I need to be able to do this level of maths for the MBA.

But what the heck, let’s do this.


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