Intro to Word Problems

Mike McGarry
Lesson by Mike McGarry
Magoosh Expert
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Introduction to word problems. In this video we're gonna give just a brief overview of the entire module, cuz this is a long module. Word problems are a large category of possible questions. Most of these can be solved with algebraic techniques. Some have numerical answer choices and some have variable answer choices.

As we will see, in addition to the straightforward way of solving which involves algebra, we will also be able to determine the answer to the questions working from the answer choices first. So we have multiple ways of approaching these. The most common word problems fall into a few categories: age questions, motion questions, growth and decay questions and mixture questions.

Typically these questions state the information in words and do not provide variables. We have to first of all assign variables and then write equations, so we need to talk about how to turn the words into symbols and equations, how to turn the words into algebra. We often have to consider whether to use one variable, or more than one variable.

This module will first explore the general strategies for all these problems, assigning variables then writing equations. Then, we will talk in detail about each kind of word problem, showing the straightforward algebraic approaches to how to solve them. And the finally we'll have a few general videos on alternative problem-solving strategies, such as backsolving or picking numbers.

So that is the basic layout of this module.

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Word Problems