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Sudoku for Beginners: How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills

Are you a beginner when it comes to solving Sudoku puzzles? Do you find yourself frustrated and unsure of where to start? Fear not, as we have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to improve your problem-solving skills through Sudoku.

Understanding the Basics of Sudoku

Before we dive into the strategies and techniques, let’s first understand the basics of Sudoku. A Sudoku puzzle is a 9×9 grid that is divided into nine smaller 3×3 grids. The objective is to fill in each row, column, and smaller grid with numbers 1-9 without repeating any numbers.

Starting Strategies for Beginners

As a beginner, it can be overwhelming to look at an empty Sudoku grid. But don’t worry. There are simple starting strategies that can help you get started. First, look for any rows or columns that only have one missing number. Fill in that number and move on to the next row or column with only one missing number. Another strategy is looking for any smaller grids with only one missing number and filling in that number.

Advanced Strategies for Beginner/Intermediate Level

Once you’ve mastered the starting strategies, it’s time to move on to more advanced techniques. One technique is called “pencil marking.” This involves writing down all possible numbers in each empty square before making any moves. Then use logic and elimination techniques to cross off impossible numbers until you are left with the correct answer.

Another advanced technique is “hidden pairs.” Look for two squares within a row or column that only have two possible numbers left. If those two possible numbers exist in both squares, then those two squares must contain those specific numbers.

Benefits of Solving Sudoku Puzzles

Not only is solving Sudoku puzzles fun and challenging, but it also has many benefits for your brain health. It helps improve your problem-solving skills, enhances memory and concentration, and reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

In conclusion, Sudoku is a great way to improve your problem-solving skills while also providing entertainment. With these starting and advanced strategies, you’ll be able to solve even the toughest Sudoku puzzles. So grab a pencil and paper and start sharpening those brain muscles.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


solving problems in chemistry

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How to Solve a Chemistry Problem

Last Updated: October 4, 2023

This article was co-authored by Anne Schmidt . Anne Schmidt is a Chemistry Instructor in Wisconsin. Anne has been teaching high school chemistry for over 20 years and is passionate about providing accessible and educational chemistry content. She has over 9,000 subscribers to her educational chemistry YouTube channel. She has presented at the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AATC) and was an Adjunct General Chemistry Instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Anne was published in the Journal of Chemical Education as a Co-Author, has an article in ChemEdX, and has presented twice and was published with the AACT. Anne has a BS in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, and an MA in Secondary Education and Teaching from Viterbo University. This article has been viewed 14,270 times.

Chemistry problems can vary in many different ways. Some questions are conceptual and others are quantitative. Each problem requires its own approach, and each has a different way to solve it correctly. What you can do is make a set of steps that can help us with any problems that you come across in the field of chemistry. Using these steps should help give you a guideline to working on any chemistry problem you encounter.

Starting the Problem

Step 1 Read the problem completely.

Finishing the Problem

Step 1 Check your units again.

Expert Q&A

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Thanks for reading our article! If you’d like to learn more about chemistry, check out our in-depth interview with Anne Schmidt .

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  • Research Matters — to the Science Teacher

Problem Solving in Chemistry

One of the major difficulties in teaching introductory chemistry courses is helping students become efficient problem solvers. Most beginning chemistry students find this one of the most difficulty aspects of the introductory chemistry course. What does research tell us about problem solving in chemistry? Just why do students have such difficulty in solving chemistry problems? Are some ways of teaching students to solve problems more effective than others? Problem solving in any area is a very complex process. It involves an understanding of the language in which the problem is stated, the interpretation of what is given in the problem and what is sought, an understanding of the science concepts involved in the solution, and the ability to perform mathematical operations if these are involved in the problem. The first requirement for successful problem solving is that the problem solver understand the meaning of the problem. In order to do so there must be an understanding of the vocabulary and its usage in the problem. There are two types of words that occur in problems, ordinary words that science teachers generally assume that students know and more technical terms that require understanding of concepts specific to the discipline. Researchers have found that many students do not know the meaning of common words such as contrast, displace, diversity, factor, fundamental, incident, negligible, relevant, relative, spontaneous and valid. Slight changes in the way a problem is worded may make a difference in whether a students is able to solve it correctly. For example, when "least" is changed to "most" in a problem, the percentage getting the question correct may increase by 25%. Similar improvements occur for changing negative to positive forms, for rewording long and complex questions, and for changing from the passive to the active voice. Although teachers would like students to solve problems in whatever way they are framed they must be cognizant of the fact that these subtle changes will make a difference in students' success in solving problems. From several research studies on problem solving in chemistry, it is clear that the major reason why students are unable to solve problems is that they do not understand the concepts on which the problems are based. Studies that compare the procedures used by students who are inexperienced in solving problems with experts show that experts were able to retrieve relevant concepts more readily from their long term memory. Studies have also shown that experts concepts are linked to one another in a network. Experts spend a considerable period of time planning the strategy that will be used to solve the problem whereas novices jump right in using a formula or trying to apply an algorithm. In the past few years, science educators have been trying to determine which science concepts students understand and which they do not. Because chemistry is concerned with the nature of matter, and matter is defined as anything that has mass and volume, students must understand these concepts to be successful problem solvers in chemistry. Research studies have shown that a surprising number of high school students do not understand the meaning of mass, volume, heat, temperature and changes of state. One reason why students do not understand these concepts is because when they have been taught in the classroom, they have not been presented in a variety of contexts. Often the instruction has been verbal and formal. This will be minimally effective if students have not had the concrete experiences. Hence, misconceptions arise. Although the very word "misconception" has a negative connotation, this information is important for chemistry teachers. They are frameworks by which the students view the world around them. If a teacher understands these frameworks, then instruction can be formulated that builds on student's existing knowledge. It appears that students build conceptual frameworks as they try to make sense out of their surroundings. In addition to the fundamental properties of matter mentioned above, there are other concepts that are critical to chemical calculations. One of these is the mole concept and another is the particulate nature of matter. There is mounting evidence that many students do not understand either of these concepts sufficiently well to use them in problem solving. It appears that if chemistry problem solving skills of students are to improve, chemistry teachers will need to spend a much greater period of time on concept acquisition. One way to do this will be to present concepts in a variety of contexts, using hands-on activities.

What does this research imply about procedures that are useful for helping students become more successful at problem solving?

Chemistry problems can be solved using a variety of techniques. Many chemistry teachers and most introductory chemistry texts illustrate problem solutions using the factor-label method. It has been shown that this is not the best technique for high school students of high mathematics anxiety and low proportional reasoning ability. The use of analogies and schematic diagrams results in higher achievement on problems involving moles, stoichiometry, and molarity. The use of analogs is not profitable for certain types of problems. When problems became complex (such as in dilution problems) students are unable to solve even the analog problems. For these types of problems, using analogs in instruction would be useless unless teachers are willing to spend additional time teaching students how to solve problems using the analog. Many students are unable to match analogs with the chemistry problems even after practice in using analogs. Students need considerable practice if analogs are used in instruction. When teaching chemistry by the lecture method, concept development needed for problem solving may be enhanced by pausing for a two minute interval at about 8 to 12 minute intervals during the lecture. This provides students time to review what has been presented, fill in the gaps, and interpret the information for others, and thus learn it themselves. The use of concept maps may also help students understand concepts and to relate them to one another. Requiring students to use a worksheet with each problem may help them solve them in a more effective way. The worksheet might include a place for them to plan a problem, that is list what is given and what is sought; to describe the problem situation by writing down other concepts they retrieve from memory (the use of a picture may integrate these); to find the mathematical solution; and to appraise their results. Although the research findings are not definitive, the above approaches offer some promise that students' problem solving skills can be improved and that they can learn to solve problems in a meaningful way.

For further information about this research area, please contact:

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3 Chemical Problem Solving Strategies

Video Transcript

Unit Analysis and Problem Solving

Original quantity x conversion factor = equivalent quantity for example converting between length units given that 1 meter = 39.37 inches conversion factors or the same relationship, just invert as necessary to give you the units you need, calculations: using unit analysis.

solving problems in chemistry

The more you use the “long method” of converting units, the fewer errors you will make!

Problem Solving Examples

How many moles of oxygen atoms are there in a 10 ml volume of water, convert volume of water to moles of oxygen.

H_{2}O \rightarrow

= There are 0.55 moles of oxygen atoms. Always Check Units!

Problems set, below are two documents. one is practice problems, the second is the same problems with solutions. they can be downloaded and changed to suit your needs..

Be Prepared! Everything you should know for 1st year Chemistry Copyright © by Andrew Vreugdenhil and Kelly Wright is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Problem-Solving in Chemistry

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Bodner, G.M., Herron, J.D. (2002). Problem-Solving in Chemistry. In: Gilbert, J.K., De Jong, O., Justi, R., Treagust, D.F., Van Driel, J.H. (eds) Chemical Education: Towards Research-based Practice. Science & Technology Education Library, vol 17. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/0-306-47977-X_11

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    teach chemistry (Bodner & Pardue, 1995):. CRead the problem. ... CWrite down what you hope is the relevant information. ... understand the prob

  13. Chemical Problem Solving Strategies

    Over all method of “unit analysis”: · 1) Write the units with every number you include in a series of calculations · 2) String your calculations together as a

  14. Problem-Solving in Chemistry

    References. Ashmore, A.D, Frazer, M.J. & Casey, R.J. (1979). Problem-solving and problem-solving networks in chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 56, 377–