Help! Those Problem-Solving Tests!


Do you have trouble studying for problem-solving or word problems? Does it frighten you to take problem-solving tests? Do you begin to get nervous and feel anxiety when it comes to word problems? Knowing ways to study for these will make a difference.

First, prepare for problem-solving tests. How? Review any notes and any word problems assigned as homework. What are the major concepts and formulas to these problems? Go through and ask if any of these were mentioned specifically by the instructor. What were the solutions to these problems and how were these solutions solved?

Look at the word problems assigned as homework. What types of problems did you miss? Did you misread the questions? Were the formulas to the word problems correct? Do you know the formulas? Evaluate why you missed the assigned problems and learn how to answer them if they were on a test.

Take time to analyze the different word problems done in class or assigned as homework. What formulas were used? What methods were involved? How did the textbook answer these problems? Take time to study the problems in the text book. In your own words, how can you solve these problems?

Make up a practice test with various problems from your notes and text book. Did you have any problems answering these? If so, then take time to compare these problems with those from notes and the text book. If you still cannot find the answer, discuss it with your instructor or classmates. A study group is a great way to study for problem-solving tests.

When it comes to taking problem-solving tests, read all directions and study the problems before answering them. Make sure you know what the problem is asking. Start with the easiest problems. Answer as many of the questions that you can and then come back to any difficult questions. Once these are answered then tackle the difficult questions.

When answering the difficult problems carefully read the problem. What is it asking? What are the formulas for the problem? What key words stand out? Write down any symbols, diagrams, graphs, or tables given in the problem. Begin one step at a time until the problem is solved.

If you still are having difficulty, ask yourself what you need to know in order to answer the questions. Break the problems into smaller problems. If you still cannot find the answer go on to the next problem.

Once you have answered all the questions then check your answers to see if they are right by doing the opposite to find the answers. Evaluate all solutions. Try to answer all the test questions, but do not let one question frighten you. Always show your calculations so the instructor might give partial credit if it is not answered correctly.

Often students freeze and become so nervous about problem-solving tests that they have trouble answering even the easiest word problems. If this happens, take a deep breath. Tell your body to completely relax. Tell yourself that you can do this. Once you begin to come down tackle the word problems.

Word problems are actually like other types of math problems. The difference is putting them into a formula or solution to find the answer. These word problems often are not as difficult as they seem. It takes one step at a time to find the answers. The most important thing to remember is to tackle the easiest questions first, and then go on to the more difficult problems.

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