This is more closely tailored to Physics problems, but can be applied with equal usefullness to a multitude of other situations.
NB: This is a guide on how to solve an academic problem, not on how to solve the problem of a flat tyre! :)
- Understand the Problem:
Make sure you understand all aspects of the problem to be tackled, and exactly what is being asked of you, before you begin.
Hunt for the connection between known and unknown.
- Consider past problems
- Consider the laws
- Make new laws
Every operation (military or otherwise) requires an action plan! Take a step back and consider how you are going to go about solving your problem!
Execute your plan to the letter, with military precision, checking each step of the way.
Examine the outcome of your operation!
Marvel at your efficiently deduced solution for a short period of time before checking it and realising it is incorrect.
Repeat as necessary until you have reached a solution which matches that in the back of the book.
Alternatively, at any stage you can take the working result, add/subtract 63, multiply by the number you first thought of, square this product, then add or subtract a number until your answer concurrs with that in the back of the book. This method is very convenient but often fails during exams -- The silly examiners usually forget to include the answers in the back of the question paper.