How to Successfully Solve Word Problems?

The ability to solve different kinds of word problems is crucial for the improvement of your math test results. To become a better student, you should practice math as often as you can. However, if you feel that your efforts do not bring the expected results, review your studying routine and check what you could do better:

Learn To Read With Understanding

Read the word problem at least twice. During the second reading extract all important data and connections between the data. If you have problems with this step, you can use a colored pencil to underline important information.

Make sure that you understand what is the problem asking you and mark the unknown with a different color. To visualize the problem you can make a picture or a graph that will help you notice the connections between data. This is more useful than you think.

The Singapore Math method applies different visualization techniques to make abstract problems more concrete. Believe it or not, but even the most complex math problems can be presented using all sorts of visual aids.

Translate The Word Problem Into Math Symbols

In my opinion, this is the step, when most students, who are bad at math fail and in result they are unable to move to the next step and solve the equation. If you struggle with complex expressions try to rephrase them or divide them into smaller parts.

If you do not know how to translate words into math symbols, analyze word problems you have solved so far and create your own dictionary of expressions commonly used in word problems and their symbolic equivalents.

Check Your Answer

Solve the equation using known methods and when you get the result, go back to the beginning and check if your answer makes sense in the context of the word problem. If the final result does not make much sense or if you suspect it is incorrect, try solving the problem from the beginning.


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