Problem Solving questions are difficult to prepare for.
This is an accepted statement, and one that we do agree with, but we disagree with the naysayers who say it can’t be prepared for!
Here are our top methods of revising for and tackling problem-solving questions;
Some problems in this section are very complex and you will need to get comfortable converting writing into equations. For example, when you read “Mark is twice as old as Jon“, you should register this as M=2J.
Once you get more comfortable doing this process, you can use it with more complex problems. Look at this example of a more complex equation using this method;
When a question asks about timetables, orders or sequences, draw out diagrams. By doing this, you can organise your thoughts and help make sense of the question.
Look at the question, then see the working done to visualise the data – this method makes the question much easier. You don’t need to limit yourself to linear diagrams like this, you can draw Venn diagrams or tables; anything applicable to the question.
There are usually 1-2 spatial reasoning questions every year. They usually give nets for a shape or a patterned cuboid and ask which options are possible rotations.
The best thing you can do to prepare is to familiarise yourself with the basics of how cube nets work and what the effect of transformations are e.g. what happens if a shape is reflected in a mirror etc. It is also a good idea to try to learn to draw basic shapes like cubes from multiple angles if you can’t do so already.
General Tips and Tricks
Read the options first
Despite the fact that you may have lots of data to contend with, the rule about looking at the options first still stands in this section. This will allow you to register what type of calculation you are required to make and what data you might need to look at for this.
Remember: OPTIONS -> QUESTION -> DATA/PASSAGE
Working with numbers
Percentages frequently make appearances in this section, and you should make yourself comfortable with them. You should get comfortable with increasing and decreasing by percentages and working out inverse percentages.