Word Problems- How to Solve+Practice

The Math test includes many word problem questions. Math problem questions check how well you can reason in a logical way to solve Math problems.

For quite a few students, the most difficult part of word problem questions is to figure out what exactly the question is asking you to do.

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So, let’s take a closer look at what you must know. We will divide Math word problems by the sort of solution that the problems require.

In all types of questions, you will always be faced with unnecessary information. It’s your job to decide what to ignore.

The first type of question involves recognizing an equation.

In these Math problems, you receive information on a scenario, and then you’re asked to pick out the equation that is representing the given scenario.

You need to be able to translate a word problem into an equation. In the previous lesson, you learned about the most popular phrases that indicate the type of equation.

Under this lesson, you will find a list of these phrases too. Get familiar with them. And now, let’s check a few examples.

John has x books.
Maria has 3 more books than John.
Alicia has 4 fewer books than John. Which expression represents the ratio of Maria’s books to Alicia’s books?
Option 1, x+3 divided by x minus 4.
Option 2, x minus 3 divided by x+4.
Option 3, 4x minus 3.

Let’s look at key phrases.

John has x number of books. Maria has 3 more books. The word “more” is associated with addition.

So, we translate it as x+3. Alicia has 4 fewer books than John. The word “fewer” is associated with subtraction. We translate it as x minus 4. The question asks, which expression represents the ratio. Ratio means division.

So, we repeat what we know and we see that only option 1 is correct. We choose this equation: x + 3 divided by x minus 4.

The second type of word problem question involves solving for some value.

Actually, this is the type of word problem that’s most common. In line with the information provided in the Math word problem, you need to select one specific value to satisfy the requirements of that specific problem.

With these problems, you may be given an equation as a part of your information.
But more likely you have to identify a formula from the Formula Sheet.

Here is an example of a question that involves solving value.

The radius of a circle is 146 ft. What’s the area of this circle?

Option 1, 1,930.
Option 2, 66,932.
Option 3, 102,670.

The formula for the area of the circle is included in the formula sheet. It’s πr squared.
First, let’s replace “r” with 146, and pi with 3.14. Then let’s calculate the equation, using your TI 30 XS calculator. Let input 146 to the power of two, times 3.14; press “enter” to calculate the result. It’s 66 932. So, option 2 is correct.

Keep in mind.
The makers of the GED test put lots of care into the way they’ve written these math word problem questions. So make sure you’ll carefully read the given information and questions in order not to misread anything and that you don’t solve for the wrong things.

Keep also in mind that for practically all problems, we have more than just one way to solve these problems.

Word Problems Keywords

Word/phrase Mathematical meaning/symbol
Is, will be, is equal to, is the same as Equals, =
Plus, sum, increased by, added to, received. more Addition, +
Minus, fewer, difference, decreased by Subtraction, –
Times, product, multiplied by, of Multiplication, x
Divided by, quotient, per, for, ratio Division, ÷
More than, greater than Inequality, >
At least, minimum Inequality, ≥
Fewer than, less than Inequality, <
At most, maximum Inequality, ≤
What, how many Variable, x (or any other letter)

Check Also Word Problems Practice

Last Updated on November 30, 2022.