The example below shows that the problem solving process is the same for puzzles (story problems/word problems) and for problems based on subject matter.
The same linear process is used for solving chemistry problems as is used to solve the physics or algebra problems. Specifically, the solution starts with a law definition or principle, that responds directly and simply to the question asked. The starting equation, in effect, answers the question asked. If the principles of solving story problems are learned well in middle school and high school, they will serve the student well in later subject matter courses in college and beyond. The words change and the symbols change, but the problem solving process remains the same. Sound problem solving skills make possible the understanding and use of concepts expressed in mathematical form.