# Numeracy Skills Bootcamp

In 2008 I was asked to provide a short, intensive bootcamp for incoming students. This page is a collection of the resources that I used for that course. It contains some slides that define and explain key concepts, and also provides some examples of numeracy tests. In addition, I noticed that many students – particularly females – felt that they “weren’t math people”. I’ve done a video to discuss these fears. I hope you find these resources helpful.

I also recommend the following page, which is full of links:

- Math 101: A Reading List, Ideas.Ted.com

## Part 1. Fundamentals of Mathematics

Download the handouts here.

**Socrative Quiz**: Fundamentals of Mathematics

Additional topics:

- How to understand and calculate percentages, House of Commons
- Note on Differentiation

*Some fascinating ideas*:

- The sum of all natural numbers (from 1 to infinity) = -1/12
- Why the golden ratio is so irrational
- Strogatz, S., “Why Pi matters“, The New Yorker, March 13, 2015
- Fermat’s Last Theorem: Introduction | Horizon Documentary | Arcadia
- The Monty Hall Problem, BBC News, September 2013
- Why 0 is a covert assassin
- Zero is audacious because we project our imagination. This is why football fans get over excited about completely unknown players.
- There is a very big difference between boys who commit zero crimes and only one – “once the latter occurs there is no typical number that an individual commits” (see Vernon Smith,
*Discovery*, p.155). Therefore more important form of deterrence is prevention 0s becoming 1s. - We know that 1,729 is an interesting number, so what is the smallest uninteresting number? I would argue that it’s 1,002, because at the time of writing it doesn’t have its own Wikipedia entry. But that would make 1,002 interesting, on account of the fact that it’s the smallest number not to have its own Wikipedia entry. This is the interesting number paradox.
- Newcomb’s paradox

## Part 2. Practice Tests

Download the handouts here.

- Try the recruitment tests for the following companies:
- For some more practice questions try:
- The following resources might also be helpful:
- SHL Direct
- Look at the websites of the major graduate recruiters
- Most business school libraries will have excellent practice resources
- http://www.numericaltest.co.uk/sample.asp
- http://www.markparkinson.co.uk/psychometric_links.htm
- http://www.testpartnership.com/numerical.html (£)

- Or just try these questions:

## Part 3. Gender Differences & Mathematics

Download the handouts here.

Further reading:

- “The weaker sex” The Economist, March 7th 2015

And remember: