If I can learn to reason out a word problem when taking a standardized exam, it is a treasure worth more than gold. In 2006, I applied to work as financial advisor for Bank One. I wanted to change careers.
I was given a test covering mostly word problems far easier than precalculus or algebra 1 and 2. I failed the test miserably. It was a rude awakening and total embarrassment for me having two degrees from two CUNY colleges and I could not pass a rather simple word problem test of 20 questions. I walked away from the bank very depressed.
As stated above, I wanted to change careers but realized that a decent job is not going to say solve 3x + 3 = 9 for x. They will expect applicants to reason out word problems and develop the needed equation leading to the right answer. Mastering this skill is more special than gold; it is a skill most people envy. What do you say?