*(And, if you can't think of any meaningful definition, then maybe you need to slow down and think a little more about what's going on in the word problem.) In all cases, don't be shy about using your "real world" knowledge.Sometimes you'll not feel sure of your translation of the English into a mathematical expression or equation. For instance, if you're not sure if you should be dividing or multiplying, try the process each way with regular numbers. You'll also be expected to know that "perimeter" indicates the length around the outside of a flat shape such as a rectangle (so you'll probably be adding lengths) and that "area" indicates the size of the insides of the flat shape (so you'll probably be multiplying length by width, or applying some other formula).*

Pick variables to stand for the unknows, clearly labelling these variables with what they stand for. You need to do this for two reasons: " stands for, so you have to do the whole problem over again.

I did this on a calculus test — thank heavens it was a short test! (Technically, the "greater than" construction, in "Addition", is also backwards in the math from the English.

In July, the hobby store sold a total of 20,777 trading cards.

How many more trading cards did the hobby store sell in July compared with a normal month?

When she went to the park, she shared 10 pieces of strawberry gum.

When she left the park, Adrianna shared another 10 pieces of bubble gum. The hobby store normally sells 10,576 trading cards per month.Suppose you're told that Shelby earns "time and a half" for any hours she works over forty for a given week.You would be expected to know that "time and a half" means dollars for every over-time hour.For instance, suppose you're not sure if "half of (the unknown amount)" should be represented by multiplying by one-half, or by dividing by one-half. Adrianna has 10 pieces of gum to share with her friends.— and, trust me, you don't want to do this to yourself! Certain words indicate certain mathematica operations. But the order in addition doesn't matter, so it's okay to add backwards, because the result will be the same either way.) Also note that order is important in the "quotient/ratio of" and "difference between/of" constructions.If a problems says "the ratio of Some times, you'll be expected to bring your "real world" knowledge to an exercise.Don't start trying to solve anything when you've only read half a sentence.Try first to get a feel for the whole problem; try first to see what information you have, and then figure out what you still need. Figure out what you need but don't have, and name things. And make sure you know just exactly what the problem is actually asking for.For instance, suppose you're told that "Shelby worked eight hours MTTh F and six hours WSat".You would be expected to understand that this meant that she worked eight hours for each of the four days Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; and six hours for each of the two days Wednesday and Saturday.

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