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How to solve math equations

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How to solve math equations and do arithmatic problems with numbers

Solving a math problem can seem like an impossible task at times. There are all kinds of different ways to figure out a solution, but keeping them all straight in your head can seem like you're being asked to stuff a library of information into a container the size of a small Tupperware box. Add in the fact that you probably have about 100 other things you are trying to keep straight in your head at any given moment and there can be a real draw to just surrender.

While there are way too many different math problems out there for us to give you a simple solution to every single one of them, there are a couple of tips you can keep in your head in order to stay more focused and figure out even harder problems that much better. 
This article will not give you the skeleton key to solving problems but will show you how to be better prepared with good mathematical reasoning skills. We will even point out why you may sometimes not be as prepared -- and you will be able to soak up the information better.

There are all kinds of different sites that are set up to help you find an answer to a specific question. To some degree it seems as though some of these sites are almost like a cheat. A site like WebMath will not tell you how to solve the problem so much in that they will actually give you the answer so you don't need to figure out the solution. Another site, like S.O.S Mathematics will show you a little bit more how you are supposed to solve a problem while giving you the answer as well.

If you want to go into a situation where you need to know how to solve math equations that are not listed on any particular website, then you are going to have to change your approach a little bit.

The basics for all math problems are really the same. In order to arrive at a problem, you need to know why the solution you used worked. While basic math like "2+2" can have memorized solutions based on nothing more than repetition, when you get into the upper reaches of equations, the answers are more about problem solving as opposed to memorization.

When you get into math equations that are a little more time intensive, the first thing you have to remember is that there is a reason for the solution. The key to learning that process is different for anyone but there are some things that can help. 

When you are sitting in class and being taught the equations, make sure you are taking adequate notes. This might be more than simply copying the steps down, piece by piece, because in the end, the steps might get blurred into one solve. Instead, map out a step, make some verbal notes about what you are writing down and why. Take the approach that you are going to have to teach this to yourself later and make sure everything makes sense when you read it over. Don't leave details out or confusion can emerge later.

If your teacher is one who will demonstrate a particular way of solving problems more than once, perhaps take the approach that you are not going to take notes the first time around. Put your pencil or pen down and simply watch what the teacher is doing, repeating the steps silently in your mind. On the next problem work with the teacher and see if you can beat them to the answer.

If you do get stuck on a problem, it might suit you better to step away and come back in five minutes or so. Sometimes our minds simply lock up and we end up just staring at the problem, thinking we're working on it when we're really just getting more and more annoyed. If you step away and come back later, your brain might unlock and you might suddenly realize you knew how to solve it all along.

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