# Steps To Solving Word Problems After you know a bit about the problem before you, we’re going to ask three questions about it.

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You would be expected to understand that this meant that she worked eight hours for each of the four days Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; and six hours for each of the two days Wednesday and Saturday.

Suppose you're told that Shelby earns "time and a half" for any hours she works over forty for a given week.

When you pick a letter to stand for something, write down explicitly what that latter is meant to stand for.

Does "" stand for "Shelby" or for "hours Shelby worked"?

And "volume" is the insides of a three-dimensional shape, such as a cube or sphere (so you'll probably be multiplying).

Probably the greatest source of error, though, is the use of variables without definitions.

If the former, what does this mean, in practical terms?

(And, if you can't think of any meaningful definition, then maybe you need to slow down and think a little more about what's going on in the word problem.) In all cases, don't be shy about using your "real world" knowledge.

You'll be expected to know the number of days in a year, the number of hours in a day, and other basic units of measure.

You'll also be expected to know that "perimeter" indicates the length around the outside of a flat shape such as a rectangle (so you'll probably be adding lengths) and that "area" indicates the size of the insides of the flat shape (so you'll probably be multiplying length by width, or applying some other formula).

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