Even though you will find a wide variety of problem types, in this set of word problem worksheets, the same basic strategy to solving these problems applies and works well. The first step is to read the problem at least twice and on the second pass, underline any words that may indicate a math operation. Words such as: gain, decrease, total, raised are the types of words that we are looking for. The words almost always are verbs within the sentences that they are located. The next step is to write a math expression or equation to model what is set forth in the sentence. Make sure to use different symbols to model each variable and check that it matches the sentence. The last step is to either solve the equation or input the values indicated in the sentence into your equation. You will find just about every type of problem and situation you could dream up on the worksheets that you will find as you scroll down. We have word problems ranging from the very simple task of operations to advance math-based problem types.
Word Problems Worksheet Categories
Click any of the images or words below to print out those sheets.
Addition Word Problems
The common words we are looking for to indicate this operation are: sum, both, more, combined, and together.
Most of these problems will require to write an equation to model the situation and then substitute a value into the equation to solve it.
You will commonly find these problem types when you are starting to work on statistics and probability. They make for nice riddles.
Decimal Word Problem Worksheets
Every problem here leads to values that include decimal points. You will work many values of currency.
Division Word Problems
In most cases you will need to read into the context of the problem to identify this operation taken place.
Elementary Word Problems Worksheets
These problems follow a basic rhythm that is meant to increase student success.
Exponential Word Problems
These are slightly more complex problems that exhibit large levels of growth or decay.
These approach many different situations and are more straight forward than you would think.
Geometry Word Problems Worksheets
Of course, there are a large number of geometric figures running in on this.
Holiday Word Problem Worksheets
Everything is related to a wide range of nationally celebrated holidays.
Financial math is important as you get older. We show you how to calculate how you owe or are owed with these problems.
Kindergarten Word Problems
We start them off young with these story problems. We try to make each problem fun and lively for students.
If you are a contractor or home builder, these are the problem you will see every day at work.
Mixed Addition and Subtraction
We offer a series of questions that can go in either direction based solely on the terms that are present in the sentences.
Money and Currency
These problems include currency to some extent. Students can directly relate to the use of money.
Multiplication Word Problem Worksheets
Common terms and phrases that give this operation away in a sentence include: out of, equal pieces, split, and average.
Negative Number Word Problems
This is where negative numbers and integer operations become so important.
Percents and Percentage
This is a really cool series that our authors have put together for you. You will see!
Perimeter and Area
We show you how to tackle unequal or non-uniform geometric shapes by breaking them into pieces.
This brings us to the age-old word problem: A Train leaves from New Mexico and another from Connecticut, where will they meet? Something along those lines, I may be a bit rusty.
This is how they make maps and blueprints. This is also how you learn to interpret them.
The common words we are looking for to indicate this operation are: left over, difference, left, fewer, and reduced.
While these seem to be rooted in theoretical math, there is a wide range of applications of these skills in many aspects of engineering.
Volume Word Problems
You will get creative with different ways to find out how area something takes up.
How To Solve Math Word Problems
Many children have difficulty with math word problems. It's challenging to decipher the hidden mathematical expressions from an English passage. However, by knowing what to look for in the passage and what different labels and vocabulary mean, you can easily formulate the necessary math equation to solve the problem.
Word problems are usually one of the most difficult tasks for students. They are interdisciplinary problems that require good reading skills, solid math identification skills, and organization skills. Students first need to identify what is being asked of them before they can begin to even understand where to begin. Many students approach math by memorizing math facts. Those children have a tough time identifying math concepts or specifically phrases. It is always important for students to look for the phrases that indicate what operation or concept that needs to be used to solve this problem. Students that have a short attention span or difficulty paying attention to detail usually struggle here. It is very helpful to breakdown the individual questions.
To solve math word problems, start by reading the problem carefully from start to finish to determine what's being asked. Then, locate and highlight pertinent info, strategize how you’ll approach the problem, make a math sentence, and start solving. Once you have the answer, double-check it.
In the following sections, I've broken down each of these steps to provide more detail on solving word problems in mathematics.
1. Read the Problem From Start to Finish
When solving math word problems, many students just pick out the numbers provided in the passage, apply a mathematical operation, and come to a solution.
This method can accidentally solve some basic problems, but it's not the right way and won't work with more complex problems.
As such, it’s important to thoroughly read the problem to understand what it's asking.
2. Understand What Information Is Required
To solve a math word problem, you must first understand what it wants.
Each word problem describes a situation and then asks a question. However, some problems can be tricky where they ask the question first and then describe the situation.
As such, first, figure out what the problem is asking. What information does it want from you?
3. Locate and Highlight All Information That's Provided
Once you know what the word problem wants you to figure out, the next step is to find and gather all the information provided in the problem.
A math word problem will have all the necessary information you need to solve the provided question.
Some of the information will be plain numbers, and the other part will contain phrases telling you whether you should add, subtract, divide, or multiply them. It’s also possible that the word problem will include unnecessary information to throw you off.
You can later figure out which information is unnecessary and which information you need. But to start, highlight all the information available at your disposal.
4. Strategize How You'll Approach the Problem
Now that you know what the problem wants as well as what information is important, it’s time to strategize how you'll use this information to reach the solution.
That said, each problem is different and will require a different approach.
Figuring out a strategy will become easier with practice.
Start by drawing or doodling diagrams. Visualizing what the problem is saying can help you brainstorm how to use the necessary information.
5. Make a Math Sentence
Now that you know what the problem wants and how to approach it, it’s finally time to create the math sentence/expression that represents the problem.
When doing this, it helps to know what phrases and keywords signal which mathematical operations to use.
I've highlighted some of them in the list below:
You need to do "addition" if you see these words:
- Increased by
- More than
- Sum of
- All in all
You need to do “subtraction” if you see these words:
- Difference between
- How much more
- How much less
- Fewer than
- Reduced by
- Decreased by
- Greater than
- More than
- Take away
You need to do multiplication” if you see these words:
- Twice (x2)
- Thrice (x3)
- Product of
- Increased by a factor
- Area of
- Rows of
- ___ Times more
You need to do “division” if you see these words:
- Divided equally
- Equal pieces
6. Start Solving
Once you have the mathematical expression ready, it’s time to start solving it.
Don’t be in a hurry. Approach it like a simplification problem where you solve it one step at a time. This ensures you don’t end up making any silly mistakes.
7. Check the Solution
After working on the mathematical expression and coming to a solution, it’s time to check if it’s correct or not.
To do this, you can try doing the opposite operations of what you used and see if you come back to the original mathematical expression.
Alternatively, you can also consult your teacher or the answers page on your exercise book to see if the solution you got is correct or not.
To solve math word problems, start by carefully reading the passage to understand what it wants to know and what information it has provided.
Next, using the provided information, strategize how you’ll approach the problem. It often helps to visualize the problem by drawing or doodling diagrams.
Once you know what to do, make the math sentence and start solving it. After reaching the solution, check it to see if it’s correct.