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Word Problems in Algebra

While many students believe that learning math only means doing the numbers, the key to success at solving word problems lies in learning how to read the question and understand math vocabulary.  Word problems are introduced into the curriculum in class III or IV. Word problems in class IX and X are present not only in mathematics but also in certain other subjects like physics and chemistry. The complexity of statement or the problem goes on increasing as we move to our senior classes. Due to time pressure in the examination hall, usually students do not read the statement of the question properly. They just start solving the question while reading it. This is not the right approach for solving the word problems .

Let us share the secret to solving the word problems. Keep in mind the acronym RAPID which comprises of five stages i.e.

  • Read the problem
  • Then see what has been ASKed in the question
  • Now break the statement into Parts and
  • Search out the relevant Information from the statement
  • Once you are through with these four stages, and then Do the problem

You will find this acronym fruitful in solving any type of word problem be it in Linear equations, Polynomials, Applications of Trigonometry, Comparing Quantities, Mensuration etc. Here we have classified the word problems of linear equation into certain categories which will tell you what knowledge you should have while solving those varieties of questions.

We hope you find this information helpful.

If you liked what you read, do share your own Math Tips and Tricks in the comment box below and help everyone fall in love with Math!


Change in date for conduct of Problem Solving Assessment (PSA) in Summer Bound Schools

PSA Dates

There were a number of complaints that some summer bound schools are likely to remain closed till 15th January for winter break, and as a result the conduct of Problem Solving Assessment (PSA) for classes IX and X on 10th January, 2014 would not be feasible. Taking note of the complaints, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has now extended the date for conduct of PSA for classes IX and XI to 18th January, 2014 (Saturday).

The date for conduct of PSA for winter closing schools remains unchanged as 19th October, 2013, as notified earlier.

Voila! You have got one more week to prepare.

For cracking the tedious PSA, prepare with the newly researched tests available on TCYonline.com.


The BUGBEARS of Language Conventions in the PSA

For anything you do in life, a clear goal /vision, adequate motivation, enthusiasm, hard work, discipline and the ability to take risks/ challenges are critical attributes.

Language Conventions in your PSA paper is no exception. It requires all the above attributes to succeed. The first step is to become disciplined and follow the suggestions given here.

1. First suggestion is to read as much in English as possible. A standard daily English Newspaper and the Readers Digest have very good reading material. This also exposes to quite a lot of idiomatic expressions, which are tested in PSA.

2. Make more English speaking friends and make a determined effort to speak only in English, even if you keep forgetting words, or tend to stammer or your friends tend to laugh at you. This will require a lot of will power but believe it, you will soon improve. This technique will help you to enhance your sense of perception and this will help you to eliminate wrong choices, in your PSA, just by going by your ear.

3. It is also suggested that you try to learn at least 3 -5 new words and look up the meaning in a dictionary. Then try and use these words in your daily work and in your communication. This helps you to do well in vocabulary based questions in PSA.


Problem Solving Assessment (PSA) for classes IX and XI for the academic session-2013-14 will be conducted on 10th January 2014

With the objectives of assessing students’ abilities to analyse given life situations, to comprehend and interpret written text and other essential higher order thinking skills, CBSE conducted its 1st Problem Solving Assessment (PSA) on 16th February, 2013 to assess students’ ability to analyse given life situations, comprehend and interpret written text and other essential higher order thinking skills. The initiative has been widely acclaimed by all the stakeholders.

Problem Solving Assessment for classes IX and XI for the academic year 2013-14 will be held on 10th January, 2014. Salient features of this test will be as follows:

  • It will be compulsory for all students of classes IX and XI.
  • All students of classes X and XII, who appeared in PSA while studying in classes IX and XI during the previous session, and who wish to improve in PSA may be allowed to do so.
  • It will comprise of 60 items of MCQ type and will carry 60 marks.
  • The examination will be held from 10.00 am to 12.00 noon.
  • There is no specific syllabus for this test. It will assess life skills related to the following elements: Language conventions, Qualitative Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning
  • The items will incorporate assessment of 21st century skills such as Creative Thinking, Decision-making, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Communication skills that lead to greater success at higher education as well as real life situations. These items will be assessing students’ ability to process, interpret and use information rather than merely assessing their prior subject knowledge.
  • The assessment in language will contain items that will assess grammar usage, vocabulary in context and passage-completion.
  • PSA score will be counted towards FA4 which is 10% of total assessments for class-IX. This score will be reflected equally in English, Mathematics, Science and Social Science. Class-XI students will be issued a separate certificate for the same.

CBSE PSA Exam Study Material

With best wishes



CBSE’s Open Book Test for Class IX and for 3 subjects in Class XI

At last CBSE has announced the much awaited decision on Open Book Test. This will be applicable from the current year onwards. This mode of examination will be applicable to all subjects of class IX and 3 subjects (economics, biology and geography) of class XI, and will be effective from March 2014.

A circular has been issued by CBSE to schools, covering the instructions for open-book assessment for the students of class 9 and class 11. CBSE chairman Mr. Vineet Joshi has asserted that for class 9 students, the test will carry a weight age of 15-20 percent of the question papers for all main subjects, and will be a part of summative assessment II to be held in March, 2014.

As part of Open Text Based Assessment (OTBA), the board has decided to evaluate students' analytical and theoretical skills, and encourage them to keep away from rote memorization. The paper will consist of value based questions from the textual material which would be provided a few months before summative assessment II. The material will include articles, case studies, diagrams, concepts, pictures or problem situations.

“Students will not be allowed to take books inside the examination hall. CBSE will provide case studies related to the subjects four months prior to the examination. This concept will be called pre-announced test (PAT),” said Vineet Joshi,Chairman CBSE.

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