How can I improve my abilities solving math problems?

I don't know what I have to do this expression I have heard a lot of times of students and persons who has in front of them a math problems. Not surprisingly, most of the schools (at least in Mexico) teach how solve exercises not problems. So what it is a problem? Is there a formula to solve math problems? Can anyone solve math problems?

First, a math problem is an unknown about a math situation, you know some information and what you must find, but don't know which is the way to find it. This post was made for newbies.

Solve math problems is more technical than natural talent so anyone can be good at solving math problems with practice. Fortunately, doesn't exist a formula that tell us how to solve any math problem if that formula existed, math live will be boring), but I am going to give go some tips that help me to improve my math abilities.

How deal with the problem?

  1. Understand problem's redaction : what information gives me? what I have to find? How can I connect what I know with the unknowns of the problem?
  2. Make a plan of action (like an instructive)
  3. Follow the plan
  4. Check that the ideas of your solution has logic and coherence and error free.

Also there some strategies that you can use or search in your problem:

  • Search similarity with other problem that you already have solved.
  • Try to make simple the complex (divide the big problem in other small problems).
  • Drawn.
  • Make some particular cases, only for have a clear idea not for proof.
  • Reverse think.
  • Symmetry.
  • Study by cases.
  • Brainstorming.

Learn of your mistakes.

Take sufficient time for solve each problem, at least 30 minutes before look the solution or ask for hint.

Explain to other guys how you solve the problem.

I hope that helps you!

Do you have another advice?

Note by Paola Ramírez
6 years ago

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1 vote

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Marc Vince Casimiro - 6 years ago

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Correct! Upvoted!

Pranjal Jain - 6 years ago

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Those are great thoughts! Most of these are applicable not just in math, but also problem-solving in the real world!

At Brilliant, we are constantly figuring out how to "divide the big problem into other small problems", because by solving the small problems piecemeal, we can eventually conquer the big problem.

Calvin Lin Staff - 6 years ago

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@Paola Ramírez I have edited this note to have bullets and numbering properly. Please check if I have altered meaning in any way.

Pranjal Jain - 6 years ago

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Thanks!, I tried put it bullets but I couldn't.

Paola Ramírez - 6 years ago

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solve daily 10 problems of IMO and then i m damn sure that in just 1 month u will see some positive results

sumita cardio - 6 years ago

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@Sumita Cardio Well said @SumitaCardio

Manmeswar Patnaik - 6 years ago

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@Manmeswar Patnaik ya thanks...

sumita cardio - 6 years ago

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Maths is just an excersise of brain....As we do daily yoga and body exercise to be physically fit. Similarly you have ti practice maths daily as a exercise. As much as you will practise as it will be easy for you. Practice and knowledge of basics concepts is the only formula and shortcut for learning maths.

anup kumar - 6 years ago

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thank you for giving free advice

S rohith - 6 years ago

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Correct !!!!

Ashutosh Kumar - 6 years ago

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What is "simetric"? Do you mean "symmetric"?

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