Basic Algebra Problem Solving

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Perhaps you need to go back and make sure you understand the problem. If you keep trying, and vary your approach, you will get it. If you’ve ever played a video game or packed a suitcase for a long trip, you know that the order and placement of objects makes a difference in the outcome.

Take a second to step back and look it over with fresh eyes. Some things can be moved around to wherever they are convenient, while others can only go a certain way or they won’t fit.

And if we all go through the same sequence of operations when we solve or simplify an equation, we should all end up with the same answer.

Algebra problems are easier to understand and to solve when you establish a strategy for working with them. The same properties of real numbers and the order of operations that worked when you only had numbers to think about also apply to equations with variables. Algebra problems have answers, and you can find them.

: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again, isn't just a cliché; it's also a good idea.

There will be times when the first approach you try doesn't get anywhere. Think about why one technique didn't work—did it give you an answer, but not the one you needed?

The Distributive Property is one of the most important tools in algebra.

It provides a way to rearrange expressions full of variables, parentheses, and operations, and make complex problems easier to solve.

The word inverse means to turn inside out or upside down—in mathematics an inverse essentially turns a number around on itself.

A typical algebraic equation includes multiple operations.


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