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Algebra Tutorial-Word Problems

Algebra Tutorial-Word Problems



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Several word problems starting with simple ones,to learn and practice...A simple 3-step methods are given to help learn the way to solve word problems---prealgebra,Algebra1 level
Several word problems starting with simple ones,to learn and practice...A simple 3-step methods are given to help learn the way to solve word problems---prealgebra,Algebra1 level

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Published by: Dr Srinivasan Nenmeli -K on Oct 02, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Algebra Tutorial—WORD PROBLEMS
Word problems are easy to solve if you follow these three steps :1 Read the problem at least twice; underline the key words that strike you or appears tricky to you.2 Translate the word statements into mathematical symbols and equations or inequalities;.---that is ,set up equations or inequalities.3 Think for a moment—get the mathematical procedure and proceed to solve theproblem.Among these steps, the second step –translating word statements into mathlanguage-- appears difficult. This tutorial with several examples will make thisprocess easy---at Algebra-1 level.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Now let us start with examples:1Sarah is elder to John by 4 years. The sum of their ages is 26. Find theages of Sarah and John.Here the ‘unknowns’ are Sarah’s age and John’s age Let us usesymbols ‘x’ and ‘y’ for these unknowns.X ---the age of SarahY --the age of JohnLet us set up the equations.The sum of their ages is 26. -
X + Y = 26Sarah is elder to John by 4 years.
X= Y + 4Now we have two equations in two unknowns. Let us solve :Substitute for x in the first equation: Y + 4 + Y = 262Y + 4 = 262Y = 22Y + 11X =15Sarah is 15 years old and John ,11 years.2James counts the number of coins he has. He has nickels and dimes. Thetotal number of coins is 16. The total value of the coins is $1.20 How manynickels and dimes James has?Let the number of nickels be XLet the number of dimes be YThen the total number of coins
X + Y = 16Now let us take the value of the coins.Since a nickel has a value of 5 cents and dime ,a value of 10 cents,The ‘value equation” is : -
5X + 10 Y = 120[$1.20 is equal to 120 cents.]Let us solve the two equations to find x and y.The first equation appears simple.We shall use that to substitute for Y.
Y = 16 – XThen the second equation becomes: 5X + 10 ( 16 –X) = 120This is an equation in one variable –that is X.Expand the second term using ‘Distributive property”:5X + 160 – 10X = 120-5X +160 = 120-5X + 160 -160 = 120 – 160-5X = -405X = 40X =8 Since X +Y =16, Y=8James has 8 nickels and 8 dimes.
5X + 10Y = 5x 8 + 10 x 8 = 120
A circus company charges $1 for each child and $3 for adults.The totalnumber of tickets sold in a particular day was 242. The manager countedthe total amount collected that day. The amount was $422. How manychildren and how many adults visited the circus that day?This is similar to the coin problem given earlier.Let number of children tickets sold be X.Let the number of adult tickets sold be YTotal number of tickets: X + Y = 242Value equation: X + 3 Y = 422Let us subtract the second equation from the first:-2Y = - 180-Y = -90Y = 90X + Y = 242X = 152.Check: X + 3Y = 152 + 3x90 = 422.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------For the following problems, we use some relationships or formulas fromgeometry. To recall:Area of a rectangle : A = length x widthPerimeter of a rectangle: P = 2 (length + width)-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sarah pays at the rate of $2 for mowing a lawn of area 300 square feet.She has a large lawn of 80 feet length and 30 feet width .How much shehas to pay for mowing her lawn once?This problem has two parts:First find the area of her lawn: A = length x width = 80 x 30 = 2400 sq feet.The labor rate for mowing the lawn = $2 per 300 sqfeet.Find the cost for mowing the lawn:Cost = area /rateRate = 300 square feet for $2 or 300/2Cost = 2400/ [300/2]= [2400/300] x 2 = 8 x 2 =16 $
John wants to build a fence around his garden. His garden has length 80feet and width of 40 feet. The contractor charges $12 for 100 feet length of the fence. How much John has to pay to build the fence.This is similar to the previous problem. Instead of area, we use perimeter formula.This problem has again two parts.First find the perimeter of the garden: P = 2 (length + width)= 2 ( 80 + 40 )= 2 x 120= 240 feet.Next find the cost: Rate for fencing is $12 for 100 feet.Cost = [240/100] x 12= 2.4 x 12 = $ 28.80 or $29 [nearly]We add more geometry related problem here.The area of a circle A = pi x radius x radiusCircumference of a circle C = 2 x pi x radiusDiameter of a circle D = 2 x radiusYou have to remember the value of a great constant in the Universe ‘pi’for therest of your life!.Pi has a value which is 3.14159……There are mathematicians and computers to find the value of pi to hundreds odecimal places. For our calculations, use:Pi = 3.14 6The college stadium has a circular track with radius of 250 feet. The costof preparing the track is $25 per foot of length. Find the total cost for preparing the track.Step1: find the circumference of the track: C = 2xpi x250= 500 x 3.14 = 1570 feetStep 2: Cost of preparation: rate= $25 per footCost = 1570 x 25 = $ 39250-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A concert hall has a semi-circular dais with diameter of 80 feet and arectangular audience area of length 100 feet and width 80 feet.Find the total area if it costs $40 to make wooden flooring for 100 squarefeet,. Find the total cost.‘Semicircular ‘ means ‘ a half circle.”Dais area (semicircular) = (1/2) pi x r x r = (3.14 x 40 x 40 )/2= 2512 square feet

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