# Problem Solving Strategy

Making a list is a strategy that will help students sort out the information that has been given in the problem.Once the students can see all of the possibilities for the solution, they can then attempt to solve the problem more easily.Try one of the tactics, force yourself to speak aloud - something will come out.

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I therefore distinguish the universal strategies from field specific tactics.

As a young assistant professor I was looking for a desk.

This strategy requires students to use the information they have been given in the question to eliminate possible solutions to finally discover the correct solution.

When students use this strategy they look for a pattern from the information that has been given.

Students just need to work out what the events were that occurred previously.

Sometimes the problem is too difficult to solve in one step.I found a detailed classification in an article by Murray Klamkin, cited below.I added a few, and for some have not yet come across suitable examples. I would very much appreciate comments and additional examples. The most common way to approach a problem is by identifying a general class to which the problem belongs and using a method (if such exists) that is applicable to the problems of that class.Enjoyment of having a problem solved is more a result of detecting and exploiting the problem's peculiarities.As a rule, those peculiarities once observed define a refined class of problems which succumb to the same method of solution.There are strategies of problem solving that are applicable to solving problems in any human endeavor.But every field and every situation call for specific knowledge and specific habits of mind to apply to solving problems.This is actually a problem solver learning process: looking back at the just solved problem, make a note as to what features made the problem solvable by the method you employed.One of the best problem solving strategies is do something; do not get (and stay) flustered if you do not see a solution to a problem right away.Once the pattern has been identified, the students can predict what will happen next and then continue the pattern to find the correct solution.Working backwards is an excellent strategy to use when the final outcome of the problem has already been given.

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