Word problems tutorial

Last updated: 18 Nov 2008

Understanding what you are being asked and making sense of the information you are given is half the battle in many of the questions in the quantitative section.

This tutorial will give you some basic techniques for understanding and solving word problems.

This tutorial will assume that you have already worked through our fractions and exponents, ratios and percents tutorials.

We will also assume that you a fair knowledge of algebra. For example you should be able to solve the following equation to find \(a\)

\[ \begin{split} 2a + 3 &= 11 \\ a &= ? \qquad \text{solution at the bottom of this page} \end{split} \]

Solve this problem by finding the value for \(a\).

This tutorial will begin by giving you two methods for making sense of and solving word problems.

Solution

\[ \begin{split} 2a + 3 &= 11 \\ 2a + 3 - 3 &= 11 - 3 \\ 2a &= 8 \\ a &= \frac{8}{2} \\ a &= 4 \end{split} \]

Next page: Word problems with equations

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