Solving Word Problems

To solve math word problems, it is always best to use the following Five Step Plan.

Five Step Plan

a) Write the question.

b) List what do you know. Tell what x =’s.

c) Write an equation.

d) Solve for x.

e) Write the answer to part a.


1.  A number multiplied by 5 is 6 more than 3 times the number.  What is one less than the number?


a)  What is one less than the number?

b)  x = the number

c)  5x = 3x + 6

d)  2x = 6

       x = 3

e)  One less than the number is 2.

2.  The length of the top of a table is 7 m greater than the width. The area is 78m^{2}. Find the dimensions of the table.


a)  Find the dimensions.

b)  width = x

     length = x+7

c)  A = l x w

     78 = x(x+7)

     x^{2}+7x = 78 


     \left ( x+13 \right )\left ( x-6 \right )=0

d)  x = -13\; or\; 6

x = -13 does not make sense.  A dimension cannot be negative.

e)  The dimensions of the table are 6 m by 13 m.


Filed under: Word ProblemsWord Problems

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