Problem Solving Strategies In Math

Students having troubles with math classes and matter usually strive to figure out one unique approach and pattern that would apply to all of their math tasks, and if they get to master that pattern, they’d be able to handle all math tasks. Unfortunately, things don’t work this way in science ever, in math particularly. You can never learn one algorithm that works on all of it; you have to get into the core of each branch and field to handle tasks referring a given matter. However, what you can do is absorb and practice a certain general guide on how to think, how to approach math homework and how to proceed in solving problems of any kind. Here in our online tutorial lessons, you’ll get to learn precise methods of solving various math problems, and you can explore these in Problem index where methods are divided according to the topic. Here is just a brief overview of a general approach towards math issues we recommend to all of our online students.

Clarify the problem you are faced with

math problem

There’s a saying that you only and truly understand the problem if you are capable of explaining it in simple words, as you would explain it to children. If it’s overwhelming, divide it into smaller steps. Analyze thoroughly what’s in front of you. Sort out the given information, spot the missing information and analyze specific term and conditions you are expected to meet. Be careful about details, such as given units and assumptions you have to make to set the problem properly. Simplify everything to create a plan for solving the problem.

Pick the optimal problem – solving strategy

math solving problemThere’s a myriad of problem-solving strategies you may try to apply, but as you get more skilled and familiar with math problems, you’ll get better in adequate choosing of strategy. The easiest one you can start with is “guess and check” approach. This strategy is quite random, and you should use it only when nothing else works. Drawing diagrams, graphs or picture is a better approach. Similar to this strategy is using lists or tables or various models. If you have figured out the matter precisely enough, you may try to solve it by solving similar but simpler problem, using predictions, estimations or eliminations. Or you may try to solve the problem backward. Using cases, equivalent problems and spotting the familiar pattern are advanced approaches to math problems.

Apply and check

Once you’ve come up with a strategy and applied it to given information, you will get some final solution. Until you get professional and experienced enough, never miss to look back on all of it and check if the solution fits the whole given settings.