# Help Me Solve Word Problems You'll also be expected to know that "perimeter" indicates the length around the outside of a flat shape such as a rectangle (so you'll probably be adding lengths) and that "area" indicates the size of the insides of the flat shape (so you'll probably be multiplying length by width, or applying some other formula).And "volume" is the insides of a three-dimensional shape, such as a cube or sphere (so you'll probably be multiplying).Don't start trying to solve anything when you've only read half a sentence.

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The hardest thing about doing word problems is using the part where you need to take the English words and translate them into mathematics.

Usually, once you get the math equation, you're fine; the actual math involved is often fairly simple.

After discovering what’s being asked of you – the length of the ladder – you realize that the Pythagorean Theorem is what you’ll need to solve it. Now you can simply fill in the equation with what you have already been given. Math word problems are notorious for giving you too many details.

This means our final question needed to solve this math word problem will be super easy. That’s why this step is the last of the three questions. Simply enter your values into your equation, and crank out the right answer by solving the problem. If you know what you’re looking for, your answer should be in the right units.

For instance, suppose you're told that "Shelby worked eight hours MTTh F and six hours WSat".

You would be expected to understand that this meant that she worked eight hours for each of the four days Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; and six hours for each of the two days Wednesday and Saturday.

Some students try to figure out what all they have first.

They read the problem, write out all the details they have been given, and then expect to solve it from there. But you will save yourself an enormous amount of time if you know you are looking to answer first.

And not just in the “I’m emotionally tired” kind of painful. If you don’t have the equation, it’s hard to solve it.

We’re talking about the “my head hurts, I’m exhausted, that took too much work, I don’t know what’s next, I’m emotionally tired” kind of painful. That means you have a few steps before you can actually solve your math word problem. You don’t have to figure everything out at this point – just give the problem a nice handshake.

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