How to Solve It suggests the following steps when solving a mathematical problem:
- First, you have to understand the problem.
- After understanding, then make a plan.
- Carry out the plan.
- Look back on your work. How could it be better?
If this technique fails, Pólya advises: “If you can’t solve a problem, then there is an easier problem you can solve: find it.” Or: “If you cannot solve the proposed problem, try to solve first some related problem. Could you imagine a more accessible related problem?”