Is Abacus Useful For Adults?

Last Updated on October 6, 2023 by Editorial Team

What is the first picture that comes to your head when you hear the word ‘abacus’? A group of kids (exaggeration on ‘kids’) trying to manipulate a set of beads within a frame.

An abacus is a tool that aids in performing various mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc, and improves math skills[1]. Apart from this, the abacus may also help cognitive development and enhance memory retention[2].

With that said and done, it goes without saying that the words ‘abacus’ and ‘adults’ sound very mutually distinct, but are they? Is there any use of the abacus for an adult, and can you, as an adult, still learn it?

If at all, how is the abacus useful for an adult who is not required to perform heavy math operations on a quotidian basis? In the specifics of this article, we shall answer these questions and many more.

Is the abacus of any use to adults?

The answer to the question lies in understanding that the abacus is not just meant for improving calculation skills, It helps build analytical skills, improving concentration and retention power – Even in adults![3]

Here are a few ways the abacus can be of great use to adults:

  • Enhances Visual Memory: The abacus is a promising way to enhance visual memory. It can be as stimulating to an adult brain as it will be for a child’s. Abacus can help engage this ability and thus improve cognitive abilities altogether. With better visualization comes the bonus benefit of improved logical as well as decision-making skills. 
  • Improves Memory Retention: Abacus can greatly help improve memory retention. The abacus taps into this unused ability to improve memory retention in adults, which helps them fully utilize the ability to store information.
  • Increases Blood Flow to the Brain: When learning abacus, you will need to move your fingers up and down a lot. This could help in improving blood circulation to the brain. Using an abacus to perform the simplest of arithmetic equations may also be helpful in boosting the vitality of an adult’s brain.

Is abacus ‘really’ meant for 5-12-year-olds? can you still learn it?

When thinking about learning through an abacus, most of us think that it is the perfect tool for a preschooler or a middle schooler. But can it be used for adults too?

To date, a number of people believe that the abacus is only meant for children who are newly learning (or improving) elementary arithmetic concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc. However, here is the affirmation that any adult who wishes to learn an abacus should hear: “There is no ‘appropriate’ age to start learning an abacus and broaden your mathematical skills. Irrespective of your age if you want to learn it, just get started already”.

This is also because all of us know how the hackneyed yet veritable saying goes: Learning has no age whatsoever. However, starting from absolute scratch can be perplexing, but the process becomes much more lucid with the right mentor to guide you through your abacus journey.

If you are wondering where to get started, an ideal option would be to start with online abacus training classes that can cater to adult learning requirements. 

In the next segment of this article, we have curated a list of online abacus training classes ideal for adults. For delving into learning abacus, these courses will not only guide you but walk hand-in-hand throughout your journey of learning.

In the next segment of this article, we have curated a list of online abacus training classes ideal for adults. For delving into learning abacus, these courses will not only guide you but walk hand-in-hand throughout your journey of learning.

Online abacus training classes for adults to help you get started

1. Abacus Math from Scratch

Created by Christian Lee, a skilled abacus instructor, ‘Abacus Math From Scratch’ is the ideal online abacus course for any adult who either wants to start from scratch or improve their existing abacus skills. 

With the help of multimedia and animations, the course will teach you how to perform basic math operations using an abacus in a span of a few seconds (all in your brain). Using a fresh and new approach to animation and storytelling, these training classes have a stellar 4.3 rating on Udemy and 1286 students have already enrolled in the course. 

The approximate duration of the course is 8 hours, and it comprises 90 interactive video lectures that are engaging and fun to learn from. Apart from video lessons, you are also provided with 43 downloadable resources to help you put your newly learned abacus skills into practice.

At the completion of the course, you will not only have a good grasp of an abacus, but you will also bag a certificate of completion, apart from lifetime access to the course.

Program Link

2. Thej’s Training in Abacus

Thej academy especially provides online abacus training to adults who wish to learn a new skill or open a window of opportunity to start their own abacus classes. The recommended age group for the course is above 20 years; however, younger individuals can get themselves enrolled too.

The program does not just help you get adept in the abacus but also teaches you handwriting as well as midbrain activation. The instructors at Thej use proven and trusted methods to improve cognition, increase memory retention, as well as unlock better concentration levels in adults.

Program Link

3. Learning Abacus Math in 7 Days

Suitable for all age groups, this online course created by Paul Yiu focuses on interactive teaching using material that will help you learn abacus from the ground up. Relatively shorter than many other online abacus training classes, this course has a total duration of only 48 minutes. Thus, if you do not wish to spend a lot of time acquiring a new skill, this course could be the ideal choice for you. 

The course has 4 sections which are further divided into 18 engaging lectures to help you begin your abacus journey. It has an excellent rating of 4.3 stars on Udemy and 288 students enrolled.

Program Link

4. Online Abacus SUPERMATHS

This course offered by BYITC or the British Youth International College is an excellent option for both kids and adults to learn abacus. The course has two tracks divided into two groups – junior and senior. The junior track comprises 11 levels, while the senior level comprises 8 levels.

At the end of each level, an exam is conducted to analyze your progress before you are promoted to a higher level. The aim of the exams is to ensure that you learn from the course and analyze your progress.

Program Link

Summing Up

Abacus taps into the versatility and the plasticity of the brain of an adult (or a kid, for that fact). Surrounded by technology, and living in a digital era, we often question how learning the abacus can be beneficial for us, as adults. 

The abacus can help you improve cognition, increase focus, and enhance visual information formation, while also boosting confidence, to name a few (just some of the many things a computer can’t help you with). 

This is why if you wish to learn abacus, you should start, irrespective of your age. We hope that enrolling in one of these online abacus classes listed above will help you excel in abacus, defying age restrictions.


  1. Anam, Fatkul & Suteja, Jefry & Septianto, Andre & Purnomo, Agung & Utami, Yuni. (2020). Improving the Numeracy Mathematics Ability: The Role of Abacus Learning Model. Journal of Physics: Conference Series. 1594. 012041. 10.1088/1742-6596/1594/1/012041.
  2. Wang, C. (2020). A Review of the Effects of Abacus Training on Cognitive Functions and Neural Systems in Humans. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 14, 543159.
  3. Dong, Shanshan & Wang, Chunjie & Xie, Ye & Hu, Yuzheng & Weng, Jian & Chen, Feiyan. (2016). The impact of abacus training on working memory and underlying neural correlates in young adults. Neuroscience. 332. 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.06.051.

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