In order to solve a hard math problem, read and understand the problem multiple times. Identify what the problem is asking, find the solution and check the answer.
- Read the problem more than once
Reading a difficult math problem only once increases the possibility of missing some of the details. While re-reading, underline key words or information that might be important.
- Identify what the problem is asking
Many times, a word problem includes unnecessary information. Pinpoint the specific solution the question and focus on solving it. Look for key words that identify the operation needed. For example, words such as "total" or "sum" indicate that it is an addition problem.
- Solve the problem
One will find that there are often multiple ways to solve a problem. For example, one can solve a multiplication problem by multiplying the numbers (4x3), but it can also be solved using repeated addition (4+4+4). Use the strategy that works best, or try multiple strategies to validate the solution.
- Check the answer
Reviewing one's work is vital to ensuring that the solution is correct. First, verify the answer. Make sure that it seems reasonable within the context of the question. If it is not, redo the math, or work the problem in reverse using the inverse of the operation used to solve the problem to see if the result yields the original numbers given.