


Get hold of Heuristics Part II  Guess and Check 
In the second part of our Heuristics series, we will outline an 8step method to applying Guess and Check to solve problem sums. Guess and Check is useful when you are give certain information about some items, but missing other details that you are required to find. However, by using the information you are given to help you understand the relationship between the items, you can make a Guess, followed by a Check, and repeat this process when necessary until you get the correct answer. Note: The Guess and Check methodology and example shown are extracted from EduSCOREPlus (scroll to the bottom of this article for more information on EduSCOREPlus). Some tips for using Guess and Check:  Guess an answer that is TRUE FOR ANY OF THE CONDITIONS.
There are 20 chickens and cows on the farm. How many cows are there on the farm? We need to guess a possible answer and check if the condition is still correct. To find the answer, follow the steps below. Step 1: What are the items? Step 1: Identify the items in the question, which we know, or do not know, their values. These are our items: Step 2: Identify the condition or conditions. Conditions:  20 chickens and cows Step 3: Count the no of items from step 1, and the no of conditions from step 2. This will be the number of columns you need. Add one more column to check if your answer is correct.  2 items Step 4: Draw a table and fill in the title of each column. Start with the items whose values are unknown, followed by the conditions. Tip: Make use of one of the conditions to make a guess.WE should guess the number of chickens is half the total number of chickens and cows. This will help us to see if we need more chickens or more cows.
Step 7: Check if your answer is right. If your answer is wrong, guess another number. Make intelligent guesses based on the result of changing one of the unknown items. When you change the value of one of the unknown items, are you gettin closer to fulfilling all the conditions? A cow has 2 more legs than a chicken. Each time you change a chicken for a cow, you get 2 more legs.
There are 14 cows on the farm. Step 8: Working backwards to check your asnwer. Use the values of the unknown items you have found, to check if you get values of the conditions. 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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