What are word problem tests?
A word problem test helps measure the comprehension, logical and reasoning skills of the participants along with their mathematical prowess. The questions in a word problem test are essentially arithmetic problems represented in the form of text instead of mathematical notation. A narrative or story is used to portray the question and provide the information required for solving it. The answer to the problems may also be given in text instead of mathematical notation.
Candidates who have applied for a certain job may be asked to take the word problem tests as a part of the assessment center or as a prescreening test to ensure whether their intelligence, knowledge, and skills match the requirements of the job specifications. World problem tests may also be used by some educational institutions in the exams administered to candidates seeking admission in graduate courses.
Passing a Word Problem Test
To pass a world problem test, you can follow certain tricks that will make solving questions easier. Some of those have been mentioned below:
- Learn common types of word problems
There are different types of word problems that may be posed in a word problem test. These may relate to age, currency, distance, mixture, numbers, percentage, time and work among others. So, you should be aware of the different types of word problem questions available and how to solve them for optimum results. Practicing each of these adequately will help you become familiar with them and determine the best methods and techniques to solve them. This may also help you identify various arithmetic formulas and quantities that you should be knowledgeable of.
- Memorize mathematical formulas and numerical quantities
For solving a word problem, you should have knowledge of different mathematical formulas and numerical quantities. You should familiarize yourself with the most common formulas that need to be used for solving word problems. Having proper knowledge of decimals, fractions and units of measurement is also required on your part. Information about metric and imperial units and their conversion may be helpful in solving questions pertaining to these. By referencing multiple resources, you may know these required formulas and numerical quantities.
As the word problems contain keywords instead of making use of operators directly, you should know the mathematical translation of them. Some of the commonly used keywords include – more than, difference between, product of, out of, ratio of, combine, divided by, fewer than, per and yields. Knowing these keywords will help you convert the word problems into mathematical equations easily.
- Convert the problem into a mathematical notation
As any question in the test may contain a mathematical problem, you should convert it into a mathematical notation for solving it. This approach will especially be beneficial for questions with lengthy and confusing narratives. You can also use figures and graphs to understand the problem easily. The length of a word problem may vary depending on the difficulty of the tests. A confusing and lengthy word problem may be divided into a few parts and each of these can be solved individually.
- Ensure your answer is in word form
In a word problem test, the answer to a given question can be in textual or word form. After solving the problem, you may obtain the answer in mathematical notation. It is possible that you spot the answer in the mathematical notation first and due to your over excitement, you may forget to look at other answer choices. There may be an answer choice with the same result in mathematical notation while there may be another option with a similar answer in textual form. You should be aware of this factor and choose the latter.
- Solve the questions on a rough paper
As the questions in a word problem test are basically mathematical problems, these will require you to solve them to determine their answer. The word problems are basically converted into equations which are easier to solve on paper. Even if the question and the answer choices look familiar to you, you should still follow this method. Moreover, you should avoid guessing the solutions for these problems, as the answer choice that may seem to be correct at first sight may be wrong. In some cases, you are given a piece of paper or a rough sheet for solving these questions. If no paper is provided, you can also carry blank papers along with you if allowed.
- Consider answer options only after working out the problem
While attempting a question in a word problem test, you should focus on solving the given question first without considering the answer choice. First, work out the answer on a scratch paper and once you will arrive at a solution, you should look at the given choices and match it with your derived answer. This may especially be beneficial if answer choice has a “none of the above” option, which may be a trap for candidates who are prone to guessing. By going through the answer choices first, you may be tempted to leave the question unsolved and select an answer that may seem correct but actually is not. Fully solving the given problem before looking at the answer options will increase your chances of arriving at the correct answer.
- Double Check Your Answers
As answering the word problems require solving of equations and these have to be solved within the allocated time, it may be possible to get these mathematical problems wrong while hurrying. To avoid the same, you should double check your solution on the rough paper. While dividing the time for the word problem test, you may also keep a few minutes separate for re-checking the answers. Your priority should be to get the answered questions right instead of attempting a higher number of questions, and double checking of your answers may ensure the same.
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The data science team found that through practice, candidates increased their scoring accuracy and went into their assessments more confident. Remember, you need to practice to make sure you familiarize yourself with the test formats, work on your accuracy and experience performing under time-pressure.