What to Do About “I Can’t Do Math Word Problems” Syndrome

May 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Push Ups

Article by Robert Duval

What to Do About “I Can’t Do Math Word Problems” Syndrome – Education

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It is very easy to give up and say: I just can’t do math word problems. But the truth is, math word problems will always be part of your education. Before you go on and quit, you should know how math actually has significance in your daily life. When you read math word problems, do not immediately push it aside and declare “It has nothing to do with me!”

In fact, as you probably know, math word problems are integral in our mundane life, we just don’t realize it. Think about going shopping or baking. You do not just do calculation off the top of your head, you are carrying out an actual math word problem without pen and paper! So, don’t give up on math problems just yet. There is more in store for you.

So, how do you survive math word problems?

Converting into an equation is the key!

The key to solving any math word problem is to correctly convert the word statement into an mathematical equation. Unfortunately, this is a giant stumbling block for most students. Know that math has its own language. You probably know this already, your variable x stands for some unknown, and you get an equation based on what information is given in the problem.

Know what infomation is given, and which you have to solve for

Remember that the information given in the word problem has something to do with how you can get the solution. At this point, it is a useful habit to draw illustrations which can help you imagine the situation better. Focus next on the unknown and try to see how the information given can help you find the unknown.

The importance of logical reasoning

Based on what is given and asked for in an math word problem, you must be able to connect all the information together and web them into one whole. There are math word problems which are very common. If you have been solving many of them, you can see how these word problems repeat itself. If you get the right reasoning flow, there is no reason not to get it right the next time.

Recognize key words

Math word problems are made of keywords. These keywords are crucial. If you encounter words like “twice that of” for example, it simply means 2x, assuming x is your variable. There are many other keywords which signify operations. Once you familiarize yourself with most of them, you will find it easy to convert the word problem into an actual math equation to solve.

Mathematics is simply a more organized methodology for solving some of the ordinary word problems we encounter everyday. It has not been invented out of the blue to make things more miserable for students.

If you are going through the “I can’t do math word problems syndrome,” maybe now is the right time to change that. Add in a little critical thinking and some positive energy, you will surely get the next math word problem right.

About the Author

John runs a site called MathTrench.com, which offers thousands of solved math problems

Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

Robert Duval



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John runs a site called MathTrench.com, which offers thousands of solved math problems












Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

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