# 5 Steps to Solving Problems with Formulas

5 Steps to Solving Problems with Formulas

### Many people struggle with math. Solving a math problem can challenging and stressful at times, but with practice and good strategies, the process can be made easier and even satisfying.

Many people struggle with math. Solving a math problem can challenging and stressful at times, but with practice and good strategies, the process can be made easier and even satisfying.

### Here are the steps that I use myself and teach to my students in order to maximize the probability that we all arrive at the same answer for the same reasons.

Here are the steps that I use myself and teach to my students in order to maximize the probability that we all arrive at the same answer for the same reasons.

### Let's consider a relatively straightforward calculation from Geometry: the volume of a cylinder.

Let's consider a relatively straightforward calculation from Geometry: the volume of a cylinder.

## Step 1: Write the formula

Step 1: Write the formula

### Write an appropriate formula for the mathematical context that you are considering.

Write an appropriate formula for the mathematical context that you are considering.

## Step 2: Define your variables

Step 2: Define your variables

### Write down every variable in the formula. Then search for the values of each variable in the problem. In the vast majority of cases, you will be given all of the information you need except for the value you need to calculate.

Write down every variable in the formula. Then search for the values of each variable in the problem. In the vast majority of cases, you will be given all of the information you need except for the value you need to calculate.

## Step 3: Substitute

Step 3: Substitute

### Rewrite the formula, replacing variables with their values.

Rewrite the formula, replacing variables with their values.

## Step 4: Simplify or solve

Step 4: Simplify or solve

### In many cases, you will get a number as your answer. In other cases, you will only be able to simplify the results.

In many cases, you will get a number as your answer. In other cases, you will only be able to simplify the results.

## Step 5: Interpret

Step 5: Interpret

### Write your final answer in a complete sentence, using appropriate units.

Write your final answer in a complete sentence, using appropriate units.

## Handwritten Version

Handwritten Version

I like to number my steps and circle them to avoid confusing them with my work.

## Typed Version

Typed Version

Here is the same work, but typed using the Google Docs Equation Editor.