# Solving Word Problems

• Aug 12th 2008, 05:43 AM
magentarita
Solving Word Problems
As you know, most students find word problems to be stressful. I have to agree. There are tons of books and online rules and steps for solving word problems. Yet, when students like myself face word problems, it is hard to create an equation from written word.

I guess the difference between a mathematician and a math student is the ability to create the needed equation to solve word problems.

What is the "best" way to master word problems?

I know we should let x = the data we are looking for but what then?

Thanks
• Aug 12th 2008, 06:20 AM
nikhil
Hi magentarita
I am not a mathematician but even then I would like to share my point of view.
Word problem is actually about conversion of verbal statements to a mathematical form that can further be manipulated.one should have good control over basics and should have a good observation.there is no single algorithm for solving such problems.just convert each statement to a mathematical form then manipulate mathematically to get the result.keep in mind that more the number of variables more difficult will become the elimination to get the value of some specific variable.you should use or atleast observe every possible relation that the problem can give. more the relations, greater will be the chances of solving.
Hope this helps.
• Aug 12th 2008, 08:14 AM
Simplicity
Quote:

Originally Posted by magentarita
as you know, most students find word problems to be stressful. I have to agree. There are tons of books and online rules and steps for solving word problems. Yet, when students like myself face word problems, it is hard to create an equation from written word.

i guess the difference between a mathematician and a math student is the ability to create the needed equation to solve word problems.

I've never been too good with literacy so my weakness in word problems could probably be due to it but after you can figure out the mathematical problem behind the question, it can be solve-able.

Quote:

Originally Posted by magentarita
what is the "best" way to master word problems?

i know we should let x = the data we are looking for but what then?

thanks

The best way to master word problems is practice (as with all maths topics).

You don't always let $x=...$ in word problems. For example, if a word problem is: 'Jonny has 5 apples and Jay has 7 apples, how many do they have combined?' Surely, for this question, we wouldn't need to apply variables ( $x=...$) as it is simple arithmetic sum ( $5+7 = 12$) so it's a matter of judgement (...which will come with practice).
• Aug 12th 2008, 09:11 PM
magentarita
Thanks...
Thank you both for your insight.