


Get hold of Heuristics 
With the strong emphasis on the need for problemsolving skills in the current PSLE Maths syllabus, many schools have been teaching the use of problemsolving strategies known as heuristics to solve different types of Mathematical problems. Being able to apply heuristics is key to doing well in the examination. Students must familiarize themselves with how to use different heuristics such as Model Drawing, Look for Pattern, Work Backwards, Guess & Check and Simplify the Problem. Read through the question carefully. If it appears easy to describe the problem by drawing models or diagrams, try to apply the Model Drawing Method to solve the problem. Some tips:  Represent each sentence as part of the model.  Underline important information or numbers in the word problem.  Fill in the answer to each missing part as you solve the word problem. e.g. consider this Word Problem: To find the right model, follow these steps: Step 1: Identify the items: ties, shirts Step 2: Identiy the relationship between the items Step 3: Decide if a partwhole model or a comparison model is more appropriate. Step 4: Draw the bar model for the parts Step 5: Fill in the information that you know on the model Step 6: Use question marks and arrows to highlight the information you are looking for. Step 7: Use the unitary method to solve the question. 1 unit > $384 ÷16 = $24 2 units > 2 x $24 = $48 The selling price of a shirt is $48. Step 8: Work backwards to check your answer. 1 shirt > $48 5 shirts > 5 x $48 = $240 1 tie > $24 6 ties > 6 x $24 = $144 $240 + $180 = $384 The ties and shirts were sold for $384. Heuristics methods used in Mathematics  Part 1: http://www.eph.com.sg/edutips.php?id=29 Heuristics methods used in Mathematics  Part 2: http://www.eph.com.sg/edutips.php?id=30
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