Math Word Problems for Nursing School Entrance Exam Study Guide
The practice quiz for this study guide can be found at:
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 English into math. When you read a problem, you can frequently translate it word for word from English statements into mathematical statements. At other times, however, a key word in the word problem only hints at the mathematical operation to be performed. Here are the translation rules:
EQUALS keywords: is, are, has
English Math Bob is 18 years old. b = 18 There are 7 hats. h = 7 Judi has 5 cats. c = 5
ADDITION keywords: sum, more than, greater than, 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 inches 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 keywords: difference, fewer than, less than, younger than, 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 = 2j – 5 Jay is 2 years younger than Brett. j = b – 2 After Carol ate 3 apples, r apples remained. r = a – 3
MULTIPLICATION keywords: of, product, times, each, at
English Math 20% of the samples 0.20 × s Half of the bacteria × b The product of two numbers is 12. a × b = 12
DIVISION keyword: per
English Math 15 drops per teaspoon 22 miles per gallon
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