Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find some frequently asked questions about CMA and our courses.

CMA Programs

  • How are CMA's abacus programs taught?

    The most effective strategies for learning abacus mental arithmetic are incorporated into every session in a fun and engaging way by means of multimedia teaching. Using memory games, lots of hands-on activities, songs, individual and group challenges and supplementary online practice, young children and even adults will gradually be able to perform speedy mental calculations.

    To learn more about how CMA works, please visit CMA Methodology.

  • What are the advantages of learning CMA abacus mental arithmetic?

    Learning CMA abacus mental arithmetic can:

    improve the accuracy and speed of computing skill or logical reasoning
    build stronger memory power
    promote longer concentration span
    enhance imaging skills or photographic memory
    create higher learning capability and self-esteem
    increase the level and speed of understanding (comprehension)
    have better sense of observation and visualisation power
    sharpen sound judgement and hearing skill
    reduce stress and enjoy fun learning

  • Why is mental arithmetic important?

    Arithmetic is remarkably important for helping young children build up a solid academic foundation. Teachers who work with young children know that it is not easy to introduce the concept of numbers and their values. It is a long learning process for young children to comprehend the concepts of mathematics when presented only in the abstract form. By abstract it means using nothing but brain power to solve problems. It is difficult for children to comprehend numeric relationships without using a concrete object such as the abacus beads to relate numerical values.

    Learning how to compute numbers mentally is equally important as it will effectively tap the unexploited parts of the brain and therefore promote the overall intelligence. The practice of mental arithmetic will sharpen the imaginative and memory power. According to a scientific research, a child who lacks good mental formation can experience a sharp decline in mental abilities even as early as the age of 20. On the other hand, a child who receives this formation by the age of 12 will continue to remain brilliant even up to the age of 70.

  • How does learning mental arithmetic help in school mathematics?

    For children to do well in mathematics, they needs to develop their ability in calculation. Learning abacus mental arithmetic can quickly enhance their competency in calculation. Professor Huang Guo Rong from the National Changhua University of Education in Taiwan studied the effects of abacus mental arithmetic education on children’s academic performance in areas of mathematical abilities and comprehensibility. He reported these startling discoveries:

    Children who have undergone mental arithmetic classes achieved far better results than other students who have not taken part in such training in areas such as comprehension, mathematical abilities (including recognising and understanding mathematical concepts, calculating abilities, and mathematical problem solving skills), mathematical performance, and IQ tests.

    Students who have had one to two years of training in mental arithmetic are found to possess a better grasp of mathematical concepts, calculations, and are more efficient in solving mathematical problems than those who have less than one year’s training. Students with more than two year's training showed even better results. Thus this indicates that the longer a child is exposed to such training, the better his mathematical abilities.

  • Why must one learn abacus when calculators are available today?

    Although calculators and computers have largely replaced manual human power in computing numbers, learning abacus can be benefical for every child as it is instrumental in developing the whole brain and lifetime skills. Using the abacus requires co-ordination of the main nerves of the human body, such as sight, sound, and finger movement which will induce the growth of brain cells. The mind undergoes three main stages of development, namely physical contact, logical explanation, and visualisation, throughout the process and the abacus acts as a medium that connects the three stages. More than 80% of the world's population is right-handed and right-handed people normally have more developed left brain and less developed right brain. The creativity side of the right brain is more than a thousand times that of the left brain. Learning abacus will stimulate the development of the right brain at an early age.

  • What is the difference between abacus teaching in the past and now?

    Conventional abacus lessons only used single-hand teaching. As a result, only the left hemisphere of the brain is stimulated and right half of the brain is ignored. Furthermore, most conventional abacus lessons used 2/5 abacus (2 beads on top and 5 beads at the bottom) while CMA uses 1/4 abacus (1 bead on top and 4 beads at the bottom) in the training process.

  • As parents, how do we teach or guide our children at home?

    There are three ways in which we assist parents:

    1. Teachers. Communication between parents and teachers after each lesson is important. CMA teachers will highlight your child's weaknesses and provide guidance for parents to teach them at home.

    2. Take home homework. At the end of each lesson, your child will bring home homework for them to complete and revise the lesson taught in class. You are encouraged to review it with your child.

    3. Regular feedback. CMA teachers will advise and help guide parents in assisting their children in their learning on key concepts like techniques of beads manipulation and calculating involving the four operations of numbers.

CMA Mental Arithmetic founder teaching

CMA Students

  • What will my child learn from CMA Programs?

    During the duration of CMA programs, students will learn:

    Proper technique of clearing and manipulate the beads on the abacus using two hands simultaneously.

    Effective speedy calculation techniques which involve the four operations of numerals (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).

  • When is the best time for a child to start learning?

    The best period to start our course is when a child starts writing numbers from 0 to 9. Children from late Kindergarten to Year One or Two have the best learning and absorbing brain power. This is the best time for nurturing the brain’s abilities and a critical stage at which a child can start to grasp mathematical concepts.

    The stages of development of the brain is as follow:

    3 years old: The brain has expected 60% growth, therefore a child has the strongest absorbing power.

    3 to 6 years old: The brain has grown a further 20%. The learning and absorbing power is not as strong as in a 3-year-old. However, the child will obtain astonishing results if he is provided with more foundation.

    6 to 8 years old: The brain has grown a further 10%. The child must put in tremendous effort if he starts learning at this age.

    After 8 years: If a child starts learning at this age, it is rather difficult for the child to achieve good results. Children have to work harder with more discipline.

  • How can CMA help to increase a child's intelligence?

    CMA is designed to improve not only a child's calculating ability and their understanding of arithmetic, but also to increase the memory power and creativity, the concentration level and the listening skill, as well as the ability to analyse problems. On top of loving mathematics for lifelong success, our ultimate goal is to build the child's confidence level in their schoolwork and life.

    By stimulating both the right and left sides of the brain during the training process, experts believe that abacus and image abacus training is the key to optimal learning capability.

  • Will it pose as a challenge to learn abacus if my child is left-handed?

    The uniqueness of CMA's two-hand four-finger abacus system will train students to be able to manipulate the abacus beads using fingers with dexterity. Being left-handed means the child will need a little practice to be able to manipulate the beads on the abacus using the right hand skilfully. After perfecting the technique of using the right hand to manipluate the beads, they will then combine both the left and right hands to manipulate the beads when calculating questions involving formulas.

  • Can my child enrol and join an existing class in the middle of a term?

    Yes, your child may still be able to join an existing class in the middle of a term provided there are still spots available. CMA provides a unique learning environment where individual students learns at their own pace with personalised teaching using carefully designed teaching materials catering to their needs and progress.

    Furthermore, your child will also be able to follow ongoing lessons. You will see an interesting phenomenon in CMA as students of different ages with different level of skills embark on the course in the same classroom using different learning materials pitched at individual progress.

  • How many students are there in a class?

    CMA strive to maintain small class sizes in order to foster greater student-teacher interactions in the classroom. This allows students to learn at their own individual pace and standard. On average, a typical CMA class consist of ten students for every one teacher per classroom.

CMA Mental Arithmetic Australia student with abacus

CMA Teachers

  • Are all CMA teachers qualified to teach?

    All our teachers at CMA are certified by CMA Taiwan (International) and have undergone a rigorous Teachers Training program.

  • What is the language that CMA teachers use to teach in class?

    All of CMA teachers speak English when teaching and conversing with their students. However, most of our Centres have teachers who can speak in Mandarin or Cantonese when communicating with parents.

  • How you do ensure CMA teachers are continuously enhancing their skills?

    As part of CMA's commitment to upholding the highest standards in the quality of all our teachers, Head Office regularly conduct professional development training sessions and workshops. This ensures that CMA teachers are constantly updating their skills and teaching techniques.

CMA Mental Arithmetic Chatswood teachers with CMA founder

CMA Franchises

  • How much does a CMA Franchise cost?

    The CMA franchise has one of the lowest establishment fees in the industry. Your initial costs will depend on your location, size, and the level of equipment needed. There are permanent and non-permanent locations for CMA franchises. A permanent centre is usually situated in an educational precinct, retail strip or near suburban hubs. A non-permanent centre may be located in a library, local community centre or other sites associated with another entity such as a school. If you already own a location such as a commercial premise or have access to a non-permanent site, you may have the opportunity to buy a franchise for that location subject to approval.

    If you wish to purchase a franchise for a non-permanent centre, such as a library or a local community centre, your capital requirements may vary and could be substantially lower depending upon the necessary equipment you must acquire or classroom furniture you must obtain.

    The franchise fee and other start-up costs may vary from area to area and will be made available upon assessing each application on a case-by-case basis. This will be disclosed to successful applicants following territory analysis, site identification and feasibility assessment.

  • Where is the training conducted?

    All training courses are conducted at the CMA Head Office in Chatswood, NSW.

    We currently do not offer any online training courses.

  • Do I need to be trained as a CMA teacher in order to own a CMA franchise?

    Yes, this is the first step to owning a CMA franchise. CMA will train you to become a CMA qualified teacher. Even if you intend on hiring permanent teaching staff, you must still be able to teach on contingency.

CMA Mental Arithmetic Zetland teacher with student

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