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Strategies, Strategies, Strategies

You won’t be surprised to learn that the most common problem-solving strategy used by students is guessing. The problem is that guessing is only part of a real strategy—the entire strategy is Guess, Check, and Revise. Too often, GED students simply guess, without thinking it through.

GED students need more than just guessing when it comes to problem solving. They need to know other strategies that can work with the different types of problems they encounter.

There are eight basic categories of problem-solving strategies:

  1. Compute or Simplify
  2. Use a Formula
  3. Make a Model or Diagram
  4. Make a Table, Chart, or List
  5. Guess, Check, and Revise
  6. Work Backwards
  7. Eliminate
  8. Look for Patterns

Let’s take a brief look at four of these strategies and see how they can be used to help students improve their problem-solving skills.

Before you continue, you may wish to access more information on problem-solving strategies by visiting the following sites:

NCTM MathCounts

SureMath—21st-Century Problem Solving