Victoria Park’s SEMAS Academy helps 8-year-old Gracean become champion at Global Association for Japanese Soroban and Mental Arithmetic exam


Gracean Alago (8) at the Global Association for Japanese Soroban and Mental Arithmetic (GAJSMA) examination in Bangkok.
Gracean Alago (8) at the Global Association for Japanese Soroban and Mental Arithmetic (GAJSMA) examination in Bangkok.

COMPLEX mental arithmetic is a skill eight-year-old Gracean Alago finds unproblematic.

Competing against about 400 students from 14 countries, Gracean was named world ranking champion at the Global Association for Japanese Soroban and Mental Arithmetic (GAJSMA) examination, after correctly solving 500 sums in six minutes.

Since age six, Gracean has attended SEMAS Academy in Victoria Park, where she has been taught to solve maths with an abacus.

“Abacus Maths does not interfere with curriculum; it simply encourages students to use both sides of the brain to enhance concentration, photographic memory and focus,” SEMAS Academy owner Carlene said.

“The technique involves using an abacus to count beads and complete sums in a timed environment.

“This method of physically associating objects as numbers allows students to visualise any math problem they are given, in their head when the tool is taken away.”

Gracean was one of about 20 students SEMAS Academy took to represent Australia at the GAJSMA competition held in Bangkok this month.

South Perth students Shiko Court (9) and Pia Karnasuta (11) also ranked top in the competition.