How to Solve Number Word Problems Part 2

This is the second part of the the Solving Number  Word Problems Series. In this part, we will discuss how to solve various number problems.  Note that some of these problems are not really number problems per se, but the strategy in solving them is technically the same. You could say that they are really “number problems in disguise.”

We already had three problems in the first part of this series, so let’s solve the fourth problem.

Problem 4

If 8 is subtracted from three times a number, then the result is 34. What is the number? » Read more

How to Solve Number Word Problems Part 1

In the previous post, we have learned How to Solve Number Problems Mentally. In this post, we are going to solve the same word problems algebraically. The objective of this post is for you to be able to learn how to set up equations based on given problems. Once you know how to set up equations for easy problems, it will be easier for you to do so using harder problems which we will discuss in the latter parts of this series. Note that before solving these problems, it is already assumed that you know how to solve equations.

Problem 1

One number is 3 more than the other. Their sum is 45. What are the numbers?

Scratch Work

The strategy in solving algebraic problems is to take a specific case. For instance, in the problem above, if one number is say, 5, then the larger number is 5 + 3 because it is 3 greater than the first number. Since we do not know the numbers yet, we can represent the smaller number by x and the larger number by x + 3. » Read more

How To Solve Number Word Problems Mentally

Most students in high school would rush and get a pencil or pen and write the equation if they see word problems such as Problem 1. I’m sure many of you will do the same. But you should really stop wasting lead and ink because problems such as this can be solved mentally.

Many are poor in mental math because most of us did not develop the habit of solving the problem mentally first, before getting a pencil and paper. Most of us, and our high school teachers too, are so obsessed and always in a hurry to write “let x = something” when we see word problems. If you want to be a good problem solver, the pencil and paper (and other tools) should be the last resort. Before getting a tool, try solving any problem in your head first.

Before you get excited, take 3-5 minutes to solve Problem 1 in your head and see if you can get the right answer before you continue reading. » Read more

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