5 Easy Steps to Tackle Worded Problems - Primary School

Normally, when anyone mentions worded problems people run away.


Having to read the question several times and still not understand it can make you go insane.


Here are 5 steps you can use to get through these problems without pulling on your hair.

Here is our example:


If Ben has 6 apples, 7 bananas, 19 pears. How many fruits does he have all together?



Step 1: Underline


Read through the problem and underline the most important information you need.


If Ben has 6 apples, 7 bananas, 19 pears. How many fruits does he have all together?


You can see that we underlined the words apples, bananas, pears, fruits and all together.


The numbers we underlined were 6, 7, 19.



Step 2: Understand


Understand what the question is asking you to do. Are you supposed to add, subtract, multiply or divide?


Here is a handy table of common words in worded problems and what they mean.

Back to our example.


If Ben has 6 apples, 7 bananas, 19 pears. How many fruits does he have all together?


We can see the words 'all together' and, using our table, we can see it means we have to add.


But what are we adding?


Remember we underlined the word fruits. This means we are adding all the fruits together!



Step 3: Set Up the Equation


Write out the numbers you need and write what it means in the problem.


In our example, we are adding all the fruits.


If Ben has 6 apples, 7 bananas, 19 pears. How many fruits does he have all together?


So we would write: 6 apples + 7 bananas + 19 pears


Then write out the equation with just the numbers and add them all up.


6 + 7 + 19 = 32



Step 4: Answer the Question


Remember what the question was actually asking you.


For our example, the question asked us how many fruits Ben has all together.


To answer this question we have to write in full sentences.


Ben has 32 fruits all together.



Step 5: Correct Units


Units are what we write after a number.


This tells us what we are talking about.


In our example, if we just wrote:


Ben has 32 all together.


This won't make sense. So we have to write


Ben has 32 fruits all together.


Here, fruits are our units.

That's it! Now you know how to solve worded equations. These 5 easy steps can be applied to any worded question.


The most important thing is practice so go ahead it's your turn! Smash out that homework!


For more study tips and tricks, check out our other blogs and for more personalised advice, try out one of our classes! Find out more on our website!


Study smarter, not harder, with SAC.

0 views
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Instagram

© 2020

Proudly Australian owned.