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Version 3d

Home > Resources > Math > Word Problems

Math - Word Problems

The RQWQCQ Strategy for Solving Math Word Problems

Word problems can be tough, especially when they involve math. Here we introduce the RQWQCQ strategy for solving math word problems. RQWQWCQ stands for Read, Question, Write, Question, Compute, Question.

Read
First, read the entire problem. The purpose or reading the problem is to learn what the problem is about. Based on your learning style it may be useful for you to draw a diagram of the picture, read the problem out load, or form a picture of the problem in your mind.

Question
Once you’ve read the entire question go back and find the question the problem is attempting to solve. The question is quite frequently stated directly in problem but if it isn’t you’ll need to review the question until you’ve identified the question to be answered.

Write
Now its time to identify all of the information and facts the problem presents that may help you answer the question. If there is information in the problem that is not relevant to answering the question then ignore them or cross them out so that you don’t get confused. Often, all of the information or facts present in the problem are need to answer the question but not always.

Question
Now that you have all the facts in front of you and you understand the question being asked find the computations required to answer the question. Again, it’s very useful to write these computations down so that you can see them on paper. This of helps you to better understand the computations as they relate to the question asked in the problem.

Compute
Using your computation try to solve the math word problem on a piece of paper. Once you’ve check your computations for accuracy and made any necessary corrections, circle your answer.

Question
After you have what you believe to be the correct answer, look at your answer and ask yourself if your answer looks like the correct answer based on the information presented in the problem. If your answer does not appear to you to be possible then go back through the RQWQCQ steps until you have the right answer.


See also the books Math Word Problems For Dummies, Master Math: Solving Word Problems, and How to Solve Algebra Word Problems: tips for word problems in a variety of areas, including percents, ratios, probability, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.

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