How Solve Math Problems

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Naturally enough, Problem Solving is about solving problems.

And we’ll restrict ourselves to thinking about mathematical problems here even though Problem Solving in school has a wider goal.

To create procedures, you have to be familiar with the problem situation and be able to collect the appropriate information, identify a strategy or strategies, and use the strategy appropriately. When deciding on methods or procedures to use to solve problems, the first thing you will do is look for clues, which is one of the most important skills in solving problems in mathematics.

If you begin to solve problems by looking for clue words, you will find that these words often indicate an operation. The first thing to do when you encounter a math problem is to look for clue words.

Many problems are multistep and require some type of systematic approach.

There are a couple of things you need to do when solving problems.

This is the side of mathematics that enables us to use the skills in a wide variety of situations.

Before we get too far into the discussion of Problem Solving, it is worth pointing out that we find it useful to distinguish between the three words "method", "answer" and "solution".

Mathematician George Pólya’s book, “How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method,” written in 1957, is a great guide to have on hand.

The ideas below, which provide you with general steps or strategies to solve math problems, are similar to those expressed in Pólya’s book and should help you untangle even the most complicated math problem.


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