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After you know a bit about the problem before you, we’re going to ask three questions about it.You can ask these three questions of any word problem, in any type of math. Take the following situation for example: A plane leaves Toronto, Ontario (Canada), heads to Newark, New Jersey, and then heads to Seattle, Washington.You can solve all problems from the basic math section plus solving simple equations, inequalities and coordinate plane problems.
It’s a simple process, but it will break down all the important elements of any math problem. Along the way to Seattle, a storm forces the plane to head north in order to get around it.
The plane ends up crossing the Canadian border, but then has some engine trouble.
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.
If you know what you are looking for and you can then name the pieces you need to find, even the most difficult problems become extremely manageable.
For a simple example, let’s say you’ve been given a question and you realize you are being asked how tall a ladder you’ll need to paint a wall (I know, weird problem – but just go with it). (Looking for the answer to the Canada-United States question?
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.
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.