How to Solve Logical Math Problems: Step-by-Step Instructions

Since there are so many different types of math problems, there isn't one specific set of guidelines that can tell you how to solve any math problem. However, the steps below will be helpful for most logic problems that you encounter.

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Steps to Solving Logic Problems

Identify the Question

In any logic problem, whether it's a puzzle, equation or story problem, you'll need to identify the question (or questions) being asked. This is critical because it helps you specify what your goal is. Be especially careful to note if you're asked more than one question.

Assess the Information

Once you've pinpointed the question or questions, review the information that you're given. You can circle or highlight this information in the problem, and make a diagram or drawing, if appropriate.

Often, problems will include irrelevant information. It's a good idea to cross this information out so you don't get confused or distracted. This is also a good time to identify any critical information that is clearly missing and determine whether or not you can use the given information to find it.

If you're working on a multiple-choice question, you can also look at the provided answers for clues. For instance, if they all have something in common, like being measured in a certain unit, this tells you something about what type of answer is expected.

Devise a Strategy

Now that you've identified your goal and gathered your information, it's time to develop a plan to solve the problem. This could mean plugging the information given in the problem into a formula, or it might mean using the trial and error process.

If you're using a formula, this is a good time to verify that it's actually the correct one. It's worth double-checking to make sure you don't confuse one formula with another one, or forget to include an element in the formula.

If you're using trial and error, it can be helpful to keep track of the solutions you've already tried. For instance, if you're trying to solve for a variable, write down the numbers you've already plugged in that haven't worked. This is helpful because you won't waste time trying the same solutions again.

Check Your Solution

After you arrive at your solution, you'll need to re-read the question to be sure that you've answered all parts of it and provided all of the requested information. For instance, be sure that you've included the appropriate units and shown your work neatly.

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