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Can't solve distance\speed problems. Tried everything. wt is wrong??

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Can't solve distance\speed problems. Tried everything. wt is wrong?? [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2016, 03:07
Hi everyone!

I can´t solve Distance\rate\time problems. Like I just CAN'T. Seriously I tried solving dozens of examples and every time I look at a new
problem, I just freeze. I have no idea of how to start.

I struggle A LOT with translation english-math. I can't organiza ideas in my head for some reason.

I've read all possible materials, like MGMAT, Veritas, Magoosh, stuff here at the forum, the solutions of Bunuel and NOTHING. Still the same
result every time I see a new problem - I freeze, start writing some formulas that sometimes are half-correct, but never 100% correct
and 2 minutes pass and I didn't even start solving yet.

Wtf is wrong with me? Can you guys relate? Any method, book, whatever you used???

Or should I just forget about these Distance\Rate\Speed problems and move on? Some feedback would be very appreciated!

Thanks a lot in advance!

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Re: Can't solve distance\speed problems. Tried everything. wt is wrong?? [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2016, 05:40
iliavko wrote:
Hi everyone!

I can´t solve Distance\rate\time problems. Like I just CAN'T. Seriously I tried solving dozens of examples and every time I look at a new
problem, I just freeze. I have no idea of how to start.

I struggle A LOT with translation english-math. I can't organiza ideas in my head for some reason.

I've read all possible materials, like MGMAT, Veritas, Magoosh, stuff here at the forum, the solutions of Bunuel and NOTHING. Still the same
result every time I see a new problem - I freeze, start writing some formulas that sometimes are half-correct, but never 100% correct
and 2 minutes pass and I didn't even start solving yet.

Wtf is wrong with me? Can you guys relate? Any method, book, whatever you used???

Or should I just forget about these Distance\Rate\Speed problems and move on? Some feedback would be very appreciated!

Thanks a lot in advance!


can you quote the problem with an example?
It will be easy to comment, when one knows where are you getting struck...
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Re: Can't solve distance\speed problems. Tried everything. wt is wrong?? [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2016, 15:23
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First of all, the fact that you've recognized this is a good sign. If you know that you aren't going to get a problem right the second you look at it, don't waste your time on it. It obviously isn't good to guess on a whole category of problems, but that's the lesser of two evils, when the alternative is missing all of those problems and also wasting your precious time. You're way ahead of test takers who don't realize that they always miss certain types of problems, and spend ages banging their heads against them anyways and getting nothing in return.

That said, since you presumably don't have to take the test tomorrow, you have time to fix this problem. Some advice:

- You need to get past the psychological barrier these problems are presenting to you. So, start with the very easiest ones in the Official Guide. It doesn't matter if you've seen them before!
- Many distance/rate/time problems are easier to understand when you draw a picture. Are you drawing out the situation before you start working?
- For many of them, writing out numbers (rather than doing the algebra) or even estimating is the correct solution. Get comfortable using these approaches on D/R/T problems, instead of feeling like you always have to do the algebra (or else you're doing it wrong).
- How are you organizing your scratch paper? Organization is key on these. Try always starting by writing down the equation "distance = rate * time", large and clear, and then creating a table underneath it.
- When you review them, don't just read the explanations. Not only is that generally a bad idea, from what you're saying here, it also hasn't worked for you in the past. Reading the explanation should be the very, very last thing you do when you review, if you do it at all. Instead, start your review by slowing down, taking a deep breath, and trying the problem a second time without a timer, taking all the time you need. If you get stuck, look at the answer LETTER, not the whole explanation, and see if you can work backwards from the right answer.
- There are only so many different types of rate/work problems. For instance - a lot of them will ask you to combine two workers' rates together to find the time they take when working together. This type of problem is always solved in exactly the same way. When you see one, take some notes on how you'd generally solve that type of rate/work problem, and work on recognizing that 'family' of rate/work problems when you see it in the future.

Good luck. Rate/work problems get a lot of hype, but I think that's just because they're often presented as 'brain teasers' or 'logic puzzles' rather than the simple math problems they are. They really aren't a big deal, and you shouldn't let them scare you!
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Re: Can't solve distance\speed problems. Tried everything. wt is wrong?? [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2016, 10:19
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Hi iliavko,

It's only been about a week since your series of posts here:

quant-for-someone-with-no-math-knowledge-2-months-of-learn-no-result-213069.html#p1643772

Based on everything that you described, you should not be expecting any level of expertise just yet. Given your circumstances, it's likely going to take months of very specific work to build up all of your skills, so you cannot afford to get emotional about any of this. You've started to define some of the 'issues' that you're facing, so you should work on those issues. If you're having trouble 'translating' english in to 'math', then that is an area that you can work on (and you can come back to D/R/T questions later).

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Re: Can't solve distance\speed problems. Tried everything. wt is wrong?? [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2016, 13:53
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For many speed/distance/time questions, it's useful to create a "WORD EQUATION" as an intermediary step.
Here are some free videos that cover this technique and other useful tips for answering this question type:

Cheers,
Brent
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Re: Can't solve distance\speed problems. Tried everything. wt is wrong?? [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2016, 18:35
Thank you all very much for the advice!

I did GMAT today and got 540.. something I was expecting. Need to keep studying this, still a lot to cover!

I will watch the videos, thanks a lot!

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Re: Can't solve distance\speed problems. Tried everything. wt is wrong?? [#permalink]

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Re: Can't solve distance\speed problems. Tried everything. wt is wrong??   [#permalink] 14 Nov 2017, 21:35
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