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# 6 Beginner Steps To Help You Gain Mastery Over Any Maths Problem

A man travels east for 6 hours at a speed of 60km/hr, then changes direction until he is N37°W of his starting point, if the distance between the starting point and his new position is ¾ the distance of the first leg of his journey…..

Does your brain just shut down when you encounter questions like this? Do you at times like this feel Maths was invented for the sole purpose of torturing you? It does not have to feel this way. Below are tips to ensure you never fall battered, bloodied and defeated at Maths feet ever again. It’s time to own your power!

1. Identify the type of problem

Is it a word problem? Fraction? Quadratic equation? Determine what categorization best fits your maths problem before you move forward. Taking the time to identify your problem type is essential to finding the best way to solve the problem

Even if the problem seems simple, read it very carefully. Don’t just skim the problem and attempt to solve it. If the problem is complex, you may need to reread the problem multiple times before you fully understand it. Just take your time and don’t move on until you feel confident that you know what the problem is asking you to do.

3. Paraphrase the problem

To help wrap your mind around the problem that you are facing, it may help you to say or write it out into your own words. You can simply say it or write it out if you are in a situation where you cannot speak out loud, such as during a test. Check what you have said or written against the original problem to make sure that you are representing the problem accurately.

4. Draw the problem

If you think it will help with the type of problem you are facing, create a visual representation of the problem to help determine what you need to do next. The drawing does not have to be elaborate, it can simply be a shape or shapes with numbers.

Consult the problem as you draw and check your drawing against the problem after you have finished. Ask yourself, “Does my drawing accurately represent the problem?” If it does, then you can move forward. If not, start over by rereading the problem.

5. Look for patterns
Sometimes you can identify a pattern or patterns in a maths problem simply by reading the problem carefully. You can also create a table to help you identify a pattern or patterns in the problem. Take notes on any patterns that you identify in the problem. These patterns can help you solve the problem and may even lead you directly to the answer.