WHEN EVERYTHING ELSE FAILS
```or
A Student's Guide to Problem Solving

When it comes to "doing story problems" for their math
homework, most people would rather be "doing something else".  So
this page of the World of TROTTER MATH will provide you with a
great service, namely some tips and shortcuts for doing this most

Rule 1:	If at all possible, avoid reading the problem.  Reading the
problem consumes time and causes confusion.

Rule 2:	Extract the numbers from the problem in the order in which
they appear.  Be on the watch for numbers written as words.

Rule 3:	If Rule 2 yields three or more numbers, the best bet for

Rule 4:	If there are only two numbers which are approximately the
same size, then subtraction should give the needed results.

Rule 5:	If there are only two numbers in the problem and one is
much smaller than the other, then divide if it goes evenly
--- otherwise, multiply.

Rule 6:	If the problem seems like it calls for a formula, pick a
formula that has enough letters to use all the numbers
given in the problem.

Rule 7:	If the rules 1-6 don't seem to work, make one last desperate
attempt.  Take the set of numbers found by Rule 2 and perform
about two pages of random operations using these numbers.
You should circle about five or six answers on each page just
in case one of them happens to be the answer.  You might get
partial credit for trying hard.

Rule 8:	Never, never spend too much time solving problems.  This set
of rules will get you through even the longest assignments
in no more than ten minutes with very little thinking!

[These "rules" were written by Joe Dodson, a Math Supervisor, and
published in the NORTH CAROLINA STATE MATH NEWSLETTER; later I found
them reprinted in another state's journal.]

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