Number Sense Tricks Youtube Channel

Ok, I really took the plunge and started a Youtube Channel that will detail each and every trick outlined in my wildly successful (and free!) Number Sense Tricks Manual.

Please subscribe to the Channel here:
Number Sense Tricks Youtube Channel

I view the videos as a supplement to the Number Sense Manual whereas I will describe less the derivation of each trick and outline more the general thought process when applying the trick under different circumstances. I think having the videos and the Manual sets me a part from other Mental Math channels as you can get exposed to each trick through the Manual, look up the video to see how it can be applied, and go back to the Manual for extra practice.

Anyways, I hope to go through all the tricks by the end of this year. Additionally, I would love to answer student’s questions through videos, so if you have any particular questions you’d like to see answered, e-mail me at:

Hi There, It’s Been A While…

Hey y’all – just wanted to write up a quick post as it’s been a while since the last status update (you know, the whole pandemic thing…).

First off, I absolutely feel for all the high school students out there — especially the Class of 2020. My heart breaks for you guys that all the hard work and hours-and-hours of practice you put into being the best math/science competitor came to such a nondescript ending. I can’t even imagine having to go through that and the range of emotions you must have felt: disappointment, sadness, anger, regret — just to name a few, I’m sure. This past spring was not the way to end one’s high school experience and this fall is definitely no way to start college. I just wanted to personally say that I’m so sorry!

As for current high school students, from what I gathered from the UIL website is that, barring some COVID-related precautions, it’s business as usual for the 2020/2021 school year and that competitions are on schedule. However, if I’m reaching an incorrect conclusion, please leave a comment as to what exactly the plans are (I’m not a Texas school teacher or affiliated with UIL, so I’m not too aware of what the actual plans are). Similarly, it looks like there will also be TMSCA events scheduled as normally planned according to their posted calendar.

Since the competitions are resuming, I figured I’d give you an update on the status of the website. As always, I will be uploading my automated generated Middle School and High School Number Sense exams on a weekly basis. Additionally, I have received a slew of corrections from a handful of e-mailers about already-generated tests that I plan on correcting in the next month. Finally, I believe I have found a good technique to start recording individual number sense tricks videos which I will post to Youtube and cross-link them on this site.

As always, if you have any questions on how to approach problems or whether or not a trick exists for some more recent questions, you can send me an e-mail at:

Lastly, a few things that are going on in my life since my last posting:

      • Celebrated my 10-year work anniversary with Boeing
      • Received a “Meritorious Award” for a new invention that I’m currently working on getting patented
      • Spent a stint frantically trying to figure out how to work-from-home and juggle daycare closures for my 3 year-old
      • Had a second child (!!)
      • Set a goal for 2020 to run every street in Salt Lake City. After 700+ miles, I’m about 80% done — you can follow my progress on Strava here (taking a little breather the past few weeks due to the prior bullet point)
      • Started-up tutoring Algebra II and Pre-Calculus online for local area students. (I have been considering maybe offering short 30-minute Number Sense tutoring sessions using the same online approach — let me know via e-mail if that might be something worthwhile to do)

That’s about it for me! Expect a little more frequent posting now that things seem to have settled down a bit.

Number Sense Updates / February 2020

I know that all you Number Sense competitors are in the thick of your qualifying and are hungry for more practice tests! As a result, I just updated a fresh batch of four exams that you can find in the Middle School and High School practice test sections. I’ll also be a lot more regular with uploading tests on a weekly basis.

Additionally, I have recently added ~1500 questions into the High School problem database and ~800 questions into the Middle School problem database. As a result, the auto-generated practice exams should be a little bit more reflective of current exams.

Finally, thank you to EVERYONE who has sent me an e-mail! I’ve enjoyed helping a number of students with how to solve a wide variety of questions (some of which aren’t mentioned in the manual). I’ve also received several e-mails outlining errors in the exams that I plan on correcting, en masse, at the end of this year’s competition calendar.

Thanks for making this project so wildly successful!

100k Download Milestone!

Didn’t realize it, but we actually surpassed the 100k download mark on April 21, 2019 — only 6 months since we passed the 50k mark! (Above is our current download total…) Amazing!

Thank you to EVERYBODY who has made this website so successful over the past two years — so happy that I could reach a fair share of you all and (hopefully) you’ve gotten good use out of all this practice material! Math is fun!

On a related side-note, I started updating the practice test repository which you find on the sidebar. Happy competing!

Number Sense Practice Test Updates for 2019-2020

Just wanted to let everyone know that I have been fairly busy with my normal job (plus a home renovation!) over the summer. As a result, I haven’t been able to do any of the Video Tutorials that I was so enthusiastic about earlier this year.

However, I have done some things in preparation for the 2019-2020 School Year:

      • Added several hundred questions to the Middle School database.
      • Added a little over a thousand questions to the High School database.
      • Began editing past exams to reflect errors users have contacted me about (thanks to everyone who has e-mailed me — really appreciate it!
      • Begun the process of segmenting my database into “like-minded” questions for use as drill sheets. That way, individuals can heavily practice single topics at a time.
      • I’ll begin uploading new exams starting next week. You can finding the High School exams here and the Middle School exams here.
      • As always, you can download the very thorough Number Sense Manual here.

Looking forward to another successful year! Again, thanks to everyone who has e-mailed me about the site with corrections/edits/thank-you’s.

Number Sense Tricks // Video Tutorials

Well I know I’ve been talking about it for a while (and at one point settled on not doing them), but I finally decided to do something about providing video tutorials that are meant to accompany the material supplied by my Number Sense Manual. Here is a quick sample video (it was literally a single-take unrehearsed screen capture — the “real-deal” instructional videos will go a lot more smoothly):

My current screen capture set-up is:

If you have any suggestions on how to better screen capture, please leave a comment on this post (note: it will need to be Mac-compatible).

I plan on having the video broken up into two parts: instruction and examples — with a minimal amount of my handwriting as possible. The videos are planned to be less than 5 minutes long each and will follow, sequentially, with the sections in my Number Sense Manual. Eventually when I revise my manual again, at each section I will provide a hyperlink to its corresponding youtube video that will further aid in the trick’s explanation.

I hope to do two to three tricks a week. Also, if you e-mail me with a question on how to do a problem, I’ll either give you .pdf containing the step-by-step instructions or a brief video. So there you go!

50k Download Milestone!

Just wanted to let all the Number Sense enthusiasts who frequent this site know that you’ve surpassed the 50,000 download threshold! A year ago I couldn’t even imagine this type of activity on the website. I thought there might be some mild interest and maybe a few teams might like my Number Sense Manual, but WOW, 50,000 cumulative downloads of my material is something else!

Thank you all for making this project a success and I look forward to building off of it in the near-future!

Re-starting Number Sense Practice Tests

Just wanted to let avid readers of the website (particularly Mental Math enthusiasts) that I have re-started posting practice exams into their appropriate repositories. I plan on posting a new exam about once a week, so check back here often! Here are the links:

High School Practice Exams

Middle School Practice Exams

Updated Number Sense Manual (2018 Revision)

Number Sense Manual // Revision A

Happy to announce I’ve finally completed the revision to the Number Sense Tricks Manual I originally made a little over ten years ago. Here is the direct download link (you can also get it from my webpage here).

I cleaned up a lot of the LaTeX programming and split up each section into it’s own .tex file making it a lot easier to compile individual sections. I also made the .pdf a lot more navigable by adding referencing and a few hyperlinks to my free Middle and High School practice exams.  Additionally, I double-checked the question/answer pairing and corrected a fair number of problems. Finally, I added about two dozen more tricks that will help with 3rd and 4th column questions on more recent exams which you can find in Section 4 of the manual.

I wanted to get this version out ASAP to help students with their upcoming UIL regional/state meets. Over the summer, I plan on adding a substantial amount of practice problems to each section and doing another run through to make sure I didn’t miss any commonly tested topics. Hope this material is helpful to you!

Number Sense Manual // Update

Just wanted to let all the avid Number Sense participants know that I am (finally!) in the process of revising and editing my Number Sense Manual. I’m about halfway done with revamping the LaTeX code which, hopefully, makes it more readable (a lot has changed in 10 years!). Once I’m done with that I plan on adding a few more sections detailing the tricks that can be used to solve some of the more recent exam questions. I also want to expand the content to include popular Middle School tricks since there seems to be a lot of demand for that. I’m hoping to have an updated manual by the end of March – so stay tuned!