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# Math Word Problems for Firefighter Exam Study Guide

By LearningExpress Editors
LearningExpress, LLC

Many of the math problems on tests are word problems. A word problem can include any kind of math, including simple arithmetic, fractions, decimals, percentages, and even algebra and geometry.

The hardest part of any word problem is translating the text into math. When you read a problem, you can frequently translate it word for word from text statements into mathematical statements. At other times, however, a key word in the problem hints at the mathematical operation to be performed. Here are some translation rules:

EQUALS         key words: is, are, has

 English Math Bob is 18 years old. B = 18 There are 7 hats. H = 7 Judi has 5 books. J = 5

ADDITION           key words: sum; more, greater, or older than; total; altogether

 English Math The sum of two numbers is 10. X + Y = 10 Karen has \$5 more than Sam. K = 5 + S The base is 3" greater than the height. B = 3 + H Judi is 2 years older than Tony. J = 2 + T The total of three numbers is 25. A + B + C = 25 How much do Joan and Tom have altogether? J + T = ?

SUBTRACTION          key words: difference, less or younger than, fewer, remain, left over

 English Math The difference between two numbers is 17. X – Y = 17 Mike has 5 fewer cats than twice the number Jan has. M = 2 J – 5 Jay is 2 years younger than Brett. J = B – 2 After Carol ate 3 apples, R apples remained. R = A – 3

MULTIPLICATION         key words: of, product, times

 English Math 20% of Matthew's baseball caps .20 × M Half of the boys × B The product of two numbers is 12. A ×B = 12

DIVISION      key word: per

 English Math 15 drops per teaspoon D =   > 22 miles per gallon

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