Steps to Solving Word Math Problems
If you are a student, you may have come across many ways to handle math word problems, either online on course books. However, it may have proved hard for you to understand the steps because of either lack of interest or complexity. All the same, the important thing here is for you to thoroughly comprehend how to go about solving your math word problems, especially for algebras. Well, in this guide, you will not find specific math formulas but ways on the analysis of how to take the right steps into finding answers for the problems. These steps will help you be able to use your formulas effectively and solve the math.
Comprehend the Math Word Problem
Every word problem has a specific question or questions that need answering. However, it is always not delivered plainly to you but twisted to confuse the student. Therefore, reads the word problem carefully and pick out the keywords. Understand the trick and note the critical figures and clues given. If you can record everything down, good for you but make sure you have a full picture. Please write down the main question and read it several times.
Paraphrase the Question
Paraphrasing the question enables you to understand the problem even better. It is a way of writing the question in your own simple words but tries to be careful not to misinterpret it. That may lead to getting the correct answer for the wrong question or both.
Do a Sketch of the Problem
Now, it's time to work out the problem and make it even more comfortable and try to sketch it. If it requires a graph, well, that too might help. Make sure you write the correct figure and compare it against the original questions to confirm.
Assess the Information
Go through the sketch, the question, and back to the original word problem. Do not research into solving the problem if you are not sure of the figures. This is where most students go wrong. So, take your time to be sure without rushing. Then proceed to the planning stage.
Identify a Suitable Formula
You have now understood the questions and analyzed the figures. Also, you sketched to see what the problem needs explicitly. It is easier for you to identify an excellent formula to solve the problem. Sometimes this step becomes problematic because it is not always common to know all the formulas on fingertips. However, you can learn most of them. So, what do you do if you cannot identify the problem? Simple, refer to the coursebook; specifically on the topic, the question has been tested. Take the right formula and start solving the question.
Confirmation of the Answers
At this point, you should have gotten the correct answer to the word problem. Go back to the steps you took in solving the question. Check if you skipped any step as most lecturers issue marks for each step taken. Also, check decimal points, if it required rounding off as well. Confirm from the instructions until you are sure you have done everything right.