Some students are good at math until it comes to the dreaded story problem. They have conditioned themselves to give up on it before they have even begun. Here are some suggestions that can help you be successful with story problems.
1. Read through the entire story problem quickly to get a sense of what is happening but don't be tempted to hesitate or pause on individual words or sentences. That is why I say read through it quickly.
2. Go back and ask, 'what am I being asked to solve for?'
3. Draw a diagram if possible and label it with the appropriate dimensions.
4. Write an equation or inequality to solve the problem.
5. Solve it.
6. Do a 'reality check' on your answer to see if it makes sense.
Again, the way to get really good at something is to do it a lot. It's no different with story problems. Keep doing them as often as you can until you start to enjoy the challenge. Oftentimes what is being asked is not that difficult. Textbook writers are just aiming to give you a real world application of math. After all, in daily life aren't all math problems actually 'story problems?'
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