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Suppose you're told that Shelby earns "time and a half" for any hours she works over forty for a given week.
Don't start trying to solve anything when you've only read half a sentence.
Try first to get a feel for the whole problem; try first to see what information you have, and then figure out what you still need. Figure out what you need but don't have, and name things. And make sure you know just exactly what the problem is actually asking for.
The biggest challenge when solving math problems is not understanding the problem.
‘Jack of all trades, master of none.’ This term is often applied to primary school teachers, as most have to work within a loaded curricula.
The hardest thing about doing word problems is using the part where you need to take the English words and translate them into mathematics.
Usually, once you get the math equation, you're fine; the actual math involved is often fairly simple.
Probably the greatest source of error, though, is the use of variables without definitions.
When you pick a letter to stand for something, write down explicitly what that latter is meant to stand for.
For instance, suppose you're told that "Shelby worked eight hours MTTh F and six hours WSat".
You would be expected to understand that this meant that she worked eight hours for each of the four days Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; and six hours for each of the two days Wednesday and Saturday.