The Columbus Campus is closed: More
Six Steps in Solving A Problem
- Read the problem carefully. Pay careful attention to wording. Underline key words and phrases. Don't mistake words that look similar but are not.
- Read the problem and see exactly what is given.
- See what principles apply. Every problem involves the application of certain principles or formulas, sometimes only one very simple one, maybe several. It is particularly important when studying courses that employ formulas, laws, rules, etc., not only to memorize them in their symbolic form, but to understand the principles underlying their use, and to be able to formulate them in your own words whenever possible.
- The fourth step is fairly obvious-see how to apply the formula or principle, if the problem is fairly obvious-note what must be done first, then second, and so on. Occasionally, when there is a choice of procedures, use the one that appears simplest and most direct.
- Carefully apply the principles and reach the solution. The word "carefully" is of maximum importance here. A large percentage of errors and lost marks are due to careless mistakes.
- Finally, check your work. See whether or not the answer seems sensible, and check each computation.