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Strategies to Simplify Word Problems Practice Questions (page 2)

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Updated on Oct 3, 2011

Solutions

  1. Read and understand the question. In this question, you are seeking the number of birds and the number of squirrels spotted in a park. The fact that there are 3 more squirrels than birds is given. It is also given that there are 24 feet between the animals.
  2. Make a plan. Use the strategy of guess and check to solve this problem. Show at least three guesses for the number of birds and number of squirrels, and be sure that the number of squirrels is 3 more than the number of birds.

    Carry out the plan. Begin with the guess of 4 squirrels and 1 bird. This would be a total of 4 × 4 = 16 feet for the squirrels and 2 × 1 = 2 feet for the bird. This is a total of 18 feet. This guess is too low.

    For the next guess, try 6 squirrels and 3 birds. This would be a total of 6 × 4 = 24 feet for the squirrels and 3 × 2 = 6 feet for the birds. This is a total of 30 feet, which is too high.

    Now, try a guess of 5 squirrels and 2 birds. This would be a total of 5 × 4 = 20 feet for the squirrels and 2 × 2 = 4 feet for the birds. This is a total of 24 feet, which is the correct answer.

    Check your work. Check your answer to be sure that it fits all of the information in the question. There are a total of 24 feet among the animals, and there are 3 more squirrels than birds. Five squirrels is 3 more than 2 birds, and there are a total of 20 + 4 = 24 feet among them. This answer is checking.

  3. Read and understand the question. This question is looking for Hannah's age. She is half as old as her aunt. If you add their ages, the sum is 42.
  4. Make a plan. Apply the strategy of guess and check to solve this problem. Try a number for Hannah's age and then double it to represent her aunt's age. See if the sum of the two ages is equal to 42.

    Carry out the plan. The sum of their ages is 42, and half of 42 is 21. Since you are going to be adding a number and double that same number, begin your guesses with a value somewhat smaller than 21. Try a guess of 12 for Hannah's age. Her aunt's age would then be 12 × 2 = 24. The sum of these ages is 12 + 24 = 36. This is too low.

    Try the next guess of 16 for Hannah's age. Her aunt's age would then be 16 × 2 = 32. The sum of these ages is 16 + 32 = 48. This is too high.

    For the next guess, use 14 for Hannah's age. Her aunt's age would then be 14 × 2 = 28. The sum of these ages is 14 + 28 = 42. This is the correct answer.

    Check your work. Check to make sure that the answer fits all of the information given in the question. Since Hannah is half as old as her aunt, 14 is half of 28. The sum of their ages is 42, so check the sum of their ages: 14 + 28 = 42. This answer is checking.

  5. Read and understand the question. You are looking for the number of candies each person ate. The total number of candies is given, along with the fact that Henry ate two less than triple the number that Noah ate.
  6. Make a plan. Use the strategy of guess and check. Start with an amount for Noah, then triple this amount and subtract 2. Make sure that the amounts for each person add to 30.

    Carry out the plan. There are a total of 30 candies, so half of this amount is 15. Start the first guess below this amount.

    Try 10 candies for Noah. Then, Henry ate 10 × 3– 2 = 30 – 2 = 28 candies.

    This is a total of 10 + 28 = 38 candies. This guess is too high.

    Try 5 candies for Noah. Then, Henry ate 5 × 3 – 2 = 15 – 2 = 13 candies.

    This is a total of 5 + 13 = 18 candies. This guess is too low.

    Try 7 candies for Noah. Then, Henry ate 7 × 3 – 2 = 21 – 2 = 19 candies.

    This is a total of 7 + 19 = 26 candies. This guess is too low, but very close to the correct answer. Remember, do at least three trials for each problem, but it may take more to find the solution.

    Try 8 candies for Noah. Then, Henry ate 8 × 3 – 2 = 24 – 2 = 22 candies.

    This is a total of 8 + 22 = 30 candies. This is the correct answer.

    Check your work. Check your work by making sure that your answer fits the information given in the question. Henry ate two less than triple the amount that Noah ate. Since Noah ate 8 candies, two less than triple this amount is 24 – 2 = 22 candies. The total number of candies was 30, and 22 + 8 = 30. This answer is checking.

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