Tips for Problem Solving

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Problem solving, whether in a word problem or a long mathematical equation, requires figuring out what is being asked, remembering the appropriate formula and solving for the unknown information. Solve a variety of word and number problems with information from a standardized test prep instructor in this free video on education.

Part of the Video Series: Education: English, Math & Teaching
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Video Transcript

Let's talk about tips for word, for problem solving. Now this can mean several different things. If you're talking about solving a word problem. Then go ahead and check out my solving word problems or word puzzles clips. And those should be pretty helpful on that. But let's take a look at some other approaches to problem solving. I've got two more that we'll look at. Let's take a look at the SAT. If you're worried, let's say you're looking at math problems on the SAT. A lot of times people feel like they've no idea where to go on a math question. It can cover anything from you know, your whole life in math. But it turns out, there are very specific things that the SAT tests. And if you work on those, there's about fifty. Which isn't really that much, considering you're looking at all of math. So if you see what's there. It will tell you where to go. So for example, let's say you see a question that has a proportion in it. O.k. In school you learn, when you solve a proportion. You cross multiply. So the SAT, as soon as you see a proportion, cross multiply. If you see a right triangle. Where two sides are given. And one side is missing. Just ask yourself, what in school did we do with right triangles. Where a side's missing. And the answer is Pythagorean theorem. So you're going to plug into Pythagorean theorem and solve for the missing side. So with problem solving. What you want to do is, identify what topic really from your math book. From school, you're looking at. And then figure out what topic it is. And then use that as a clue, as a hint. To figure out how to solve what we need. And that was actually the third thing, I was going to talk about, as well. Really is more specifically in school. A lot of times, students don't realize this. But your text book is organized really. So that there is a theme to each chapter. And a lot of times students don't realize that. So when you're working on questions from a particular chapter. Just ask yourself, what things was I supposed to learn? What things did I learn? Hopefully, in this chapter. And one of those is going to be what you use to solve the questions. In the homework, in the chapter view, in the chapter test and on the test in school. So that's a great sort of hint, a great tip off, for problem solving.


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