Math Problems Checklist:
Do not be tempted to look at a problem and start punching numbers into a calculator. Using your calculator like this only ensures you will get the wrong answer QUICKLY. Instead, follow this checklist to help ensure success:
1. Read the problem carefully (you may need to read it twice).
2. Draw and label a picture of the problem.
3. Think about the information you are given and what you want to know.
4. Choose a formula (some problems may require more than one formula).
5. Write down the formula as it is given. Rearrange if it is not in the form you need.
6. Replace the words in the formula with the number and units of the information you have been given (sometimes you may be given information you don’t need – don’t let that fool you).
7. If needed, add conversion factors to end up with the requested units. Cancel (cross out) units to make sure the only units left are the ones you want in your answer.
8. Now, get out your calculator and multiply all the numbers on the top and divide by all the numbers on the bottom.
9. Ask yourself if the final answer is reasonable for the question being asked.
10. Double check to make sure your answer is in the units being asked for (many times answers are incorrect because of failure to make sure the final answer is in the correct units).
11. Smile at your correct answer!!