Word problems can be some of the most difficult types of questions on any test. You have to understand precisely what the question is asking you and what relevance the quantities have to one another. For Arithmetic Word Problems, you will not really have to worry about creating algebraic expressions in order to answer the questions.
When you first attempt a word problem, write all quantities to the side of the word problem. You can better manage the information when it is not surrounded by text. Also, see if there is any superfluous information that you can eliminate from the problem. You can then determine the required mathematical operations from two places—within the word problem’s information or in the desired result (the question portion of the word problem). Review this list of translations from word to mathematical operation:
Words that Mean Addition
The coat cost the store $55 and its price was increased by $30 so that the store could make a profit.
Words that Mean Subtraction
In a store‐wide sale, all $55 jackets are reduced by 35% and $30 shoes are reduced by 45%.
Words that Mean Multiplication
increased by a factor of
decreased by a factor of
The store sold 20 jackets in a sale at $35 each. The store sold 30 hats at twice their original price of $10.
Words that Mean Division
divided equally among
The school divided equally among its students 350 bags of candy.
Words that Mean Equals
ultimately ends in
What does each jacket sell for when the store has a 33% discount on winter-wear?
Shelby Joe 周 is the Founder of Piqosity. He has more than 20 years of experience in education as an entrepreneur, professor, and tutor. Shelby earned his BA in Political Science from Rice University. Born and raised in Mississippi, he now resides in Houston but has also lived in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hamburg.