The definitive trick to passing a prop trading math test.

Practice Practice Practice.

I've seen lots of posts here asking about how to pass Flow Traders math test, or Optiver, or Akuna or whoever.
Maybe there's some geniuses out there that pass these tests without effort. This thread isn't for them, and i certainly don't fall in that category, yet i've managed to pass all the barrier tests.
If you're serious about getting one of these jobs in the future, start going to ( and doing 15 reps each day, followed by one run through on easy of "" on the easy section. The first link will get your mental horsepower up with continuous practice, and the second link will prepare you for the conditions of the exams (negative marking, 8 minute time limit etc).

You have to treat it like exercise, and set aside 30-40 minutes a day for it.

Write down your scores each day. At first you might be rubbish, but you'll see improvement (and very rapidly at the beginning). Being able to see your continual improvement on a graph really helps to keep you motivated.

You need to practice enough so you're barely thinking when you do these. Eventually it all seems intuitive and you'll instinctively know the answer before you really even try to "work it out".

I've attached a graph of my last 15 hours of practice. I initially started out at about 20 and have worked up since then.

If you're looking to prepare for your interview, JobTestPrep has everything you need to know for Mathematical Reasoning Test interviews, including a myriad of questions with thoroughly explained answers.

Comments (12)

Jun 16, 2017 - 5:25am
clevortrevor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Further tips:

Listen to music while you do it, it helps to get used to having distractions. One test i did (for Liquid Capital) actually played loud distracting music during!).

If you find yourself getting stuck on specific numbers (maybe you find dividing by 12 particularly hard), set zetamac to only give you those problems for a while until you're quicker, then go back to the default setting.

Because zetamac doesn't progress you unless you get the right answer, it can be easy to get lazy and quickly try multiple answers. Start docking yourself a point for each time you use the backspace key and you'll put that extra bit of time to make sure you get the right answer. In the real test they mark you negative for a wrong answer and wont stop you from progressing.

Jun 16, 2017 - 7:09am
Ehmerica, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Surprising that practice and studying helps one be good at mental math ;)

Only two sources I trust, Glenn Beck and singing woodland creatures.
Jun 16, 2017 - 11:59am
PeterMullersKeyboard, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is useful, but to be honest I've taken the Optiver test and it was harder than any other test I've taken....verging on the ridiculous. It was all fractions of wildly different bases. I know some people can do that, but to be honest I fail to see how they'd make good traders in 2017. Maybe in 1987, or 1997 that was a desirable trait. Not necessarily anymore. If you can knock out Trader Test medium with a reasonable score you should be able to handle any other shop's math test.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."
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Jun 27, 2017 - 10:07am
Discounted Smash Bros, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just wanted to say thanks for the resources. Also, is there a more definitive guide to how Traders do mental math? I have my own methods but I'm sure there are other more effective ones.

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Jul 3, 2017 - 10:04am
noke2012, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Prop trading "assessment test" (Originally Posted: 09/19/2012)


I've got a "assessment test" with a proprietary trading firm. It's not Getco, Jane St. or the like, but a solid firm nonetheless. It's an online thing. Can anyone cue me in on what will be tested? Anything I should brush up on in particular? The email wasn't very informational.

Thank you for any advice

"Life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them." - Bud Fox
Jul 3, 2017 - 10:05am
Addinator, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I would suggest you know probabilities with a high level of confidence, mental math and really more than anything just understand rudimentary math (ie algebra). Just saw you mentioned it is online. In that case know fairly rudimentary math, algebra etc. None of the online test I've taken are exceptionally hard, more than anything it catches you off guard and you start second guessing things.

Jul 3, 2017 - 10:06am
chip201, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just did a test at a prop firm. Was 3x 25 questions, 25 easy numerical questions for example 200 - 82. and then 25 harder questions with decimals as 2.13 * 1.02 and then 25 questions as 122 * 74. In terms of my test i would suggest you work on your speed in calculations (calculationrankings.c)

Oct 28, 2018 - 11:16am
JSA, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi sorry, I don't see a graph here. How do I find it?

Can you tell us your average score after practicing for 15 hours?

Mar 31, 2019 - 10:34am
toribashcash, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Try this site: You can actually train decimal calc, which was the hardest part (at least for me).

Jun 22, 2019 - 8:49am
tradermaths, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Tradermaths is probably the most similar to Optiver. The site has a Floating point option, penalty for error and 80 questions in 8 minutes.

May 1, 2022 - 2:01pm
NeroTulip, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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