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How to Solve Physical Science Problems Read through the problem once. If it is a long problem, read and understand it in parts until you get even a slight understanding of what is going on. Often it helps to draw a diagram. A problem will often be easier once it is drawn out. 1. List down anything that is given to you on the left side under a category labeled "givens". Be sure to include the units. The units must match. If not, convert so all the givens are in the same units (usually SI units). 2. Look for the unknown variables. Ask yourself, "What am I solving for?" 3. On the right side, list formula that you think might be applicable to this problem. Pick the right formula. 4. Solve the equations. 5. Put a box around your answer to make your work neat.