Algebra Problem Solving Strategies

The letter x is always popular, but it is a good idea to use something that reminds you what it represents, such as d for distance or t for time.

The trickiest part of assigning variables is that you want to use a minimum number of different variables (just one if possible).

If you can compare formulas or terms or shapes to problems you've solved before, it's a good bet that the strategy you used to solve them last time will help again now.: A big complicated problem is often just several small and simple questions stuck together.

After all, you wouldn’t want a surgeon to crack your ribs and perform a heart transplant without first identifying the source of your chest pains. Now that you understand the word problem’s purpose, determine the answer’s unit.

For example, will the answer be in miles, feet, ounces, pesos, dollars, the number of trees, or a number of televisions?

Your mind analyzes, plans, and guides in the labyrinthine quest for the solution.

Think of the calculator as merely a tool that makes the journey easier.

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