Problem Solving Strategies
If you get stuck on a problem, try the following.
- Check you have read the problem very carefully - What
information does it give? What do you have to do?
- Check you understand the problem - the notation, language
and scenario. Have any assumptions been made?
- If you can, break it down into smaller steps. Can you
consider a simpler case first?
- Think what mathematics you can use to solve the problem -
have you seen anything like this before?
- Try discussing the problem with somebody else, by phone or
on-line or face-to face.
- Try finding out more about the subject - on the web, in
other books, with a maths software package.
- Have a look back over previous work, both notes and
- Have a break!
- Check each step of your work - Is your argument clear and
logical? Are your calculations accurate? Can you justify each step? Is
your writing well-presented?
- Contact your tutors for help.
- Consider what you have learned from this problem - could
you use it again in the future?