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Advice on making sure that you're reading the problem correctly?

  1. Jan 21, 2015 #1
    I think I have a touch of dyslexia (or the number version of this) and nearly all of my problems in math have occurred because I misread the problem completely. What can I do to ensure that I am indeed seeing what I think I'm seeing?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Try drawing a picture or rewriting the facts down on paper. Also maybe you could underline or speak read the problem out loud.

    I did find an article related to dyslexia and science that also may shed some light on what's going on.

    http://www.dsse.org.uk/resources/2_10ScienceSubjectsP.pdf [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  4. Jan 21, 2015 #3
    Thanks, I'll post an illustration to what is happening: is spent all day getting a problem wrong on my homework, finally started getting half of it right, the problem was converting minutes and seconds to degrees, and I happened to agave a thought that I may have been misreading the top problem, which just had a degree and something besides it. I thought it was minutes, turned out it was seconds. As soon as I saw that, I got both parts of the problem correct.
  5. Jan 21, 2015 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    That could well be dyslexia. I used to have issues with left and right confusion. On my drivers test the instructor said take a right turn and I put the signal on for left and took a left. He told me what I did wrong but still passed me because I signalled correctly for the turn I took.
  6. Jan 21, 2015 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Mathematics is different from many other disciplines in that information is often presented in a compact form that is very dense. You can't just skim through it. Whether you do or don't have dyslexia, it's important to make sure that you understand what is being conveyed in the problem. You want to be sure to work the problem as it is stated.

    In your example of converting minutes and seconds to degrees, it's important to be very clear on your understanding of the notation being used. If you are uncertain about what it says, look up the definition, ask the instructor, or ask here for clarification.

    Many people don't have a good grasph on left vs. right. I was in the US Army back in the 60s, and it was firmly impressed on me which way left is and which way right is.
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