4.3 Using Math in the Real World

In the examples you have worked through so far, all the information you needed was given to you, and sometimes you were given a hint on how to tackle the problem, too. Using math in your own life isn’t like that.

Quite often, you will need to decide how to tackle the problem, as well as what information you need. That can be a lot more challenging than working through some examples in a textbook. Real-life math can be messy, and some of the decisions you make may depend on your priorities, such as cost or time.

Let’s work through an example that uses multiple operations. We will focus on various strategies that you can try if you get stuck while solving a problem. Keep in mind that this problem might have some tricky steps. Do the best you can and embrace this activity as a learning tool, because everyone gets stuck at some point when they are working on math. Discussing the problem with someone else, drawing a diagram, or taking a break can help—you may be surprised at how much work your brain can do on a problem without you even knowing!

4.2.6 PEMDAS Performed By Hand

4.3.1 Math Cycle