Help Me Solve Word Problems

After you know a bit about the problem before you, we’re going to ask three questions about it.

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Knowing the question is more important than knowing what details you have.

Only when you know the question you are answering and what you need in order to answer it can you then find the right details to answer it correctly.

The hardest thing about doing word problems is using the part where you need to take the English words and translate them into mathematics.

Usually, once you get the math equation, you're fine; the actual math involved is often fairly simple.

Some students try to figure out what all they have first.

They read the problem, write out all the details they have been given, and then expect to solve it from there. But you will save yourself an enormous amount of time if you know you are looking to answer first. But I recommend rechecking the most important detail before you guess: “For what I am looking? If you don’t know what you are looking for, you’ll end up missing it every time.After you know what you’re being asked, you can then think about what it will take to get that answered.You'll be expected to know that a "dozen" is twelve; you may be expected to know that a "score" is twenty.You'll be expected to know the number of days in a year, the number of hours in a day, and other basic units of measure.You should have some idea at this point of the equation that will be needed to find a solution.Specifically, we’re talking about equations here and the most important variables.And it’s not as if somehow when you’re studying you can avoid math word problems. But before we try to break it down, it’s best to just try to figure out what this problem is about – generally speaking. You won’t solve it until you are at least familiar with the situation. Use these simple steps to solve every math word problem with ease (well – as much ease as you can have when solving math problems. There is an interesting difference between math word problems and simply solving an equation: math word problems don’t give you the equation. So much of math is about solving equations properly.Pick variables to stand for the unknows, clearly labelling these variables with what they stand for. You need to do this for two reasons: " stands for, so you have to do the whole problem over again.I did this on a calculus test — thank heavens it was a short test! (Technically, the "greater than" construction, in "Addition", is also backwards in the math from the English.


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