Math is not exactly an easy subject. More so when you’re solving tricky problems that make you feel like pulling your hair and screaming at the top of your lungs. So what do you do when you come face-to-face with them in college entrance exams? Don’t worry! It’s not the end of the world. Teacher Wacks Cagampan, a senior lecturer at AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center, offers some enlightening tips.

Sometimes, you assume that the answer is hidden when it’s there all the time, he begins. For instance, when you’re asked how many degrees one angle of a regular triangle has, don’t feel lost. Just remember that a regular triangle has equal sides. Therefore every angle in a triangle measures 60 degrees.

Word problems also abound in tricky questions. The sentence ‘Pedro and Juan finished painting the house in 60 days’ seems tricky, but it’s not. Pedro and Juan may be two persons, but the house they’re painting is just one. Thus, their work, when added up, should be equal to one, explains Teacher Wacks.

The equation to this problem, therefore, should sum up to one.

Look for key words that will lead you to the right equation, he suggests.

Now, let’s talk about problems involving distance. When two people traveling at different speeds must arrive at the same point together, the distance person A travels must be equal to the distance person B covers. And your equation should reflect this, Teacher Wacks points out.

As for age problems, Teacher Wacks shares this example: If you say Maria will be twice older than Pedro in five years, all you have to do is add five to their respective variables. If Pedro is X and Maria is 2x, all you have to do is write 2x + 5 to represent Maria’s age after five years; x + 5 for Pedro’s age in five years.

Probability problems can also be tricky. One question could be, In a class, the number of boys is twice the number of girls. What’s the probability of getting a boy to represent the class in an inter-school spelling contest?

Teacher Wacks’ advice: Go for the smallest possibility. Find out the ratio of boys to girls in the class. Since the number of boys is twice compared to the number of girls, the answer is two.

Easy does it? AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center’s Teacher Wacks replies a resounding yes! And soon, you will too!

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