# PROBLEM SOLVING

Problem solving refers to how effectively we are able to solve our problem more quickly and efficiently. There are many different strategies that good problem solvers use to solve a problem. Before using a strategy, you must remember a few things. First, take your own time to understand the problem. Few good problem solvers solve problems fast and some may be slow, but they are correct in their problem solving approach. Second, don’t give up. You will never solve a problem if you don’t try. Last, be flexible. If in a first try, if you don’t succeed, try another way. And if the second way doesn’t work, try a third way.

Here are a few steps to solving a problem that you should follow. First, read the problem very carefully. Try to understand every word and make sure you know what the problem is asking. If you don’t know the meaning of a word, look it up in a dictionary and get to know about the word. Second, Trial and error is a problem solving strategy that everybody uses at one time or another. In trial and error, you try an answer. If the answer is an error, you try something else. You keep trying until you get the correct answer. This is a good strategy to use if the problem only has a few possible answers.

Another good problem solving strategy is to make a table. Another problem solving strategies is to use a special case. A special case is an instance of a pattern used for some definite purpose. Special cases help to test whether a property or generalization is true. The only thing wrong with this strategy is that even if several special cases of a pattern are true, the pattern may not always be true times it helps a lot to make one. A table is just an arrangement of rows with columns.

It’s important that you are able to recognise the common synonyms, words and phrases used in problem solution questions. Here are the key words and their synonyms used in the questions above.

• Problem – issues, resulting, situation
• Cause – reasons, why
• Solution – deal with, addressed, tackled, remedied, improved, measures taken, solved, prevent

Problem refers to the situation as how did the problem arise. What chances has happened for the problem to  has occured. Cause refers to why did the problem arise. What events caused the problem to be arise. Solution refers to how affectively we are solving the problem. The strategies adopted by us in solving the issue or problem.

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