Understand the problem:

Do you understand all the words used in the problem? Review them in ASULearn solutions, the ASULearn glossary, and the book, or ask me!

What are you asked to find or show?

Can you restate the problem in your own words?

Devise a plan and carry it out:

Polya mentions that there are many reasonable ways to solve problems. The skill at devising and carrying out an appropriate strategy is best learned by practicing and solving problems yourself. Strategies include

Look for a pattern

Draw a picture

Use a model

Consider special cases

Use a formula

Solve an equation

Guess and check

Be ingenious

Look back:

Much can be gained by taking the time to reflect and look back at what you have done, what worked, and what didn't. Doing this will enable you to predict what strategy to use to solve future problems. Also look back to ensure that you have answered all parts of the question. Finally think about connections or extensions.