I Love Problem Solving!

Resources for Students and Teachers

Eliminate Possibilities

This problem solving strategy is fun because it makes you feel like a detective.  Here you are using deductive reasoning skills.  This strategy not only applies to math, but is also very helpful in all subject matters as well as multiple choice tests.

You may be familiar with this strategy if you’ve ever played the game “20 Questions”.  Each question you ask eliminates possibilities until the solution becomes obvious.  Or, your mom or dad may use the strategy of Eliminating Possibilities when they are trying to figure out what to make for dinner!  If they don’t have any ground beef, then that eliminates the possiblity of making hamburgers.  If they are all out of any kind of food, maybe it’s an option to order pizza.  But if someone doesn’t like pizza, they may choose to order something else.

It is sometimes a good idea to write out all the possibilities of the problem and then cross out each one as you go. 

Here are some fun games you can try that practices eliminating possibilities.


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