13 Tips For Solving Math Problems

Today I will tell you the tips to solve math problems. Sometimes mathematics is going to be a headache when you don’t have an interest in mathematics but still you have to study and solve math problems. Many students and parents ask for pointers and techniques to best learn math. Here is my top 13 list which applies to any level of math.

Mathematics is a subject that every student has to study at one time or another. Some love it, but we are being honest, most people hates studying mathematics. The problem many students have been that they don’t know how to study mathematics to get good results.

Identify the problem
First you have to identify the type of problem. Is it a word problem? Fraction problem? Quadratic equation? First find category of that problem before you move forward. Take time to identify the problem type is the best way to solve problems.

Once you will know the problem type then there is no problem to solve any math problem. You can apply rules and formulas very easily and you will not waste your time in guess work.

To understand the problem you can use follow on method. Look at example of each problem in your text book and break each problem into many steps. Focus on understanding the steps to comprehend the entire problem.

Be careful to read problems
Firstly you have to Read the problem very carefully even if it looks very simple. Simple looking problem can be complicated at most. When you read carefully the problem, you will understand it in one time. When beginning to work on a math problem, do not map out a path from problem to answer in your head before writing anything down.

I see this  almost every day. It is very common when someone looks at a math problem that they try to figure out in their head before writing anything down. What you need to do is begin by first writing down the problem. Then you begin to solve it one step at a time.

Write down even the simple things. What you need to ensure is that every step that you wrote down is perfectly legal. Just take your time and don’t move on until you feel confident that you know now what the problem is asking you to do.

Draw the problems in diagram
Write out what you need to do in order to get answer. Wrap your mind around the problem and draw the pattern. Draw Venn diagram, it describes problems very clearly. Or create a visual representation of the problem to help determine what you need to do next.

You can draw a graph or chart to understand the problem exactly. You can draw simple shapes to represent  more complex features of the problem. These  shapes, patterns can help you to solve the problem and may even lead you directly to the answer.

This is most applicable for Trigonometry, Calculus and Physics Students, but also applies to any word problem in basic math or algebra. Please do yourself a favor and draw a picture of what the problem is describing, even if your picture is simple.

The process of drawing the situation causes us to internalize what the problem is really asking for. It helps figure out how to proceed. If you are in physics, you should draw a picture for every single problem that you work out. If you are in calculus, definitely draw pictures for all related rate problems.

Choose the problem
If you have a problem and you think that this problem is little tough for me. At this situation you should have to choose one easier problem that is based on similar concept of previous problem. You should not solve a difficult problem direct.

If you will do this, it may be you work on that problem for a long time but you can’t that. At this situation your confidence will be down and then you will feel that you are not able to do difficult problems. So I suggest you at this situation you have to choose easier one. When you understand the tricks and techniques of problems, your confidence will be improve definitely.

Practice practice and more practice
It is impossible to study mathematics problems properly by just reading and  listening. You have to roll up your sleeves and actually solve some math problems. If someone asks you for help, try to explain the topic to them as best you can.

This one going to seem a little odd for this list but there is one universal truth. Those who can teach others have a true grasp of the material. Many times when studying in groups there will be one member of the group who is behind and doesn’t get it. Try to help that person, even if your own work will take longer.

Not only will you feel like you are helping someone else succeed, but the process of rephrasing information back to someone else and breaking things down into bite sized chunks will increase your own understanding. It will help you understand at a fundamental level what the stumbling blocks are for the topic, which will help you as you move in your math studies.

Review errors
When you are practicing with math problems, it’s important to work through the process of each solution. And you have to analyze your way of solving problems, where are you do mistake, where your solving skill let you down. It is good idea to study with a friend that can consult with and bounce off ideas off when trying to solve complex problems. You can discuss problems.

You all give your view of the mathematics rule and give your ideas of solving problems. This is very effective and responsive. With this you will be able to teach to your friends and younger.
This is a great way of becoming stronger and avoiding the mistakes in the future.

Master the key concept
Remember math require time and practice to being mastered. Do not try to memorize the process. This is counter productive. It is better and rewarding in the long run  to focus on understanding the process and logic that is involved. This will help you understand how you should approach such problems of the future.

Understand your doubts
Sometimes you can get stuck trying to solve one of the  math problem and find it difficult to solve. It is very common to students that they leave it and move on to next problem. If you don’t understand , focus  on mastering that topic before moving on to the next topic. It sounds simple, but it is absolutely essential.

Take a example, a student is learning algebra. Further he or she is having a hard time understanding how to add and subtract negative positive numbers. All of us struggle with this in the beginning as it is a sticky point for most students.

Some students in this situation, out of frustration that they “can’t” learn this topic will move on to the next lesson in the hope that they will be able to understand that one. This is a recipe for disaster. Math is very much like learning to read.

If you don’t know your letter sounds then you have no hope of being able to sound out words of course there is no any possible way that you could read a book. All math courses are taught in a specific sequence because the every topic builds on the previous topic.

If you are having a problem with a topic, continue working with that one until you understand it and can work problem successfully. You must have to analyze the process of that question. You should think about this from starting. Solve the problem from starting again and don’t follow your previous solution.

And this will be long lasting for you and never forgettable. You can use this as a stepping stone to progress to the remaining of the questions.

Keep your solutions neat and line-by-line
Always work problems vertically, with one step on every line. Never work horizontally. It may take more paper, but you will be able to follow your steps much more easily. More importantly the teacher will be able to follow work much better which allows him/her to give you partial credit.

If there are just 2 steps when there should be 10, you will not be getting any points for your thought process. The steps you write down tell the teacher what you are thinking and how you are attacking the problems. Try to use a mechanical pencil with separate eraser, if you can.

Mechanical pencil have cleaner lines and the separate eraser allows you to erase more cleanly. Nothing is worse than making a mistake and trying to erase something then just smearing that all around your page. The cheap eraser will do this and make your life hard. Invest in a good mechanical pencil and a good separate eraser.

Create a distraction free study environment
When you study and do homework, try to find a quiet place to do it. Mathematics is a subject that requires more concentration than any other subject. A proper study environment and a distraction free area could be the determining factor when solving complex questions or problems in geometry, algebra and trigonometry.

I was the worst offender of this while in school. I used to listen to music all of the time while trying to do homework. I’d also listen to the TV as “background noise” while studying. Overtime I realized that if I had a quiet place without the background noise, I could focus much better.

What I found is that when reading, for example  I would have to read something perhaps 3 or 4 times if I was listening to something else but only once if I had some quiet. People love to listen music while studying, but I am convinced that it is much more effective if you don’t.

Try to find a quiet spot in your home or in the library to get your school or college work done and you will get your work done much more quickly because you’ll able to focus and absorb more. Although Music is a most want able way to relax. You can listen this but when you are not doing study.

Create a mathematical dictionary
Every student should make a short note or tricky note for mathematics in which you can organize your thoughts of mathematics, your view, formulas, key points, rules of solving mathematics problems.

With this effort you can feel little relax during exam time. When you don’t have enough time to go through all the rules and formulas of the book , at that time this short note will help you. Revise all the points of your short note and most of the point  will be covered in your book.

Don’t solve problems very late at night
I know all of the college students will be laughing at this, but it is true. I have tried many, many times to do calculus or physics late at night, after 12 or 1am, but you are just doing yourself a disservice. I have stared at problems for hours because I just could not sleep until I knew how to solve it.

Then finally I fell asleep out of extreme fatigue but when you woke up it just seemed so simple how to proceed with the problem. Also, I have worked problems at night and got the wrong answer, and I knew I must have a silly mistake in the solution.

I would usually set out to find it, but many times when you are tired you simply can’t find the silly mistake. The next morning after 5 minutes I could spot the simple sign error or even a simple multiplication error that caused the problem.

Relate math problems with your real life
Whenever solve math problems related it to your life, relate math formulas for your life events. This is an amazing idea to remember the tricks and formulas of mathematics and then it will never be forgettable. And an interesting thing will be happened that you will never feel boring all these problems. You can enjoy this during solving problems.

Remember, there is no silver bullet in learning mathematics. It comes with taking things one step at a time and with practice. The tips above will help you along in your math studies, and give yo confidence. And confidence is 100% the name of the game in learning any level of math.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *