Word Problems

This tutorial will discuss strategies to solve math word problems.

Use the BUCK system


This is a way to break down and organize a word problem in order to isolate the math problem and the needed information to solve it. BUCK stands for:

B- Box the question – Put a box around the actual math question.

U- Underline the information needed – Underline any information that will be needed to answer the math question.

C- Circle the important vocabulary – What words are indicating which math operation to use? Any words needed to understand and solve the math question.

K – Knock Out extra information – Any information that doesn’t help solve the math problem should be crossed out.

Use a Graphic Organizer

To help organize the information using a graphic organizer such as the one below. You can easily draw this and then use it to organize the problem.

Graphic Organizer


Keywords that Help Indicate the Math Operation

These are words that indicate whether you should be adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing something. You still need to pay attention to context, but this list should be helpful.



Solution Strategies

Here is a list of a variety of solution strategies that can be utilized to solve mathematical problems.

Math Word Problem Strategies

Watch a Video Tutorial

Here is a video tutorial comparing fractions.

Interactive Class on this Topic

Take an interactive middle school math class on this material, click here


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