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# The CA SOLVE Approach to Word Problems for CBEST Exam Study Guide (page 3)

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Updated on Mar 29, 2011

### Quick Tips and Tricks

Below is a miscellaneous list of quick tips to help you solve word problems.

On some problems, you can plug in given answers to see which one works in a problem. Start with choice c. Then if you need a larger number, go down, and if you need a smaller answer, go up. That way, you don't have to try them all. Consider the following problem:

1. One-fifth of what number is 30?
1. 6
2. 20
3. 50
4. 120
5. 150

Try c: of 50 is 10. A larger answer is needed.

Try d: of 120 is 24. Not yet, but getting closer.

Try e: of 150 is 30—Bingo!

#### Sample Multivariable Question

1. A man drove y miles every hour for z hours. If he gets w miles to the gallon of gas, how many gallons will he need?
1. yzw

Picture yourself in the situation. If you drove 4 (y) miles every hour for 5 (z) hours, you would have driven 20 miles. If your car gets 10 (w) miles to the gallon, you would need 2 gallons. Since 2 is your answer, plug the numbers you came up with into the answer choices and see which one is correct. Choice b equals 2 and is therefore correct.

#### Let the Answers Do the Math

When there is a lot of multiplication or division to do, you can use the answers to help you. Suppose you are asked to divide 9,765 by 31. The given answers are as follows:

1. 324
2. 316
3. 315
4. 314
5. 312

You know then that the answer will be a three-digit number and that the hundreds place will be 3. The tens place will be either 1 or 2.Your division problem is practically worked out for you.