Chapter 21

Solving Algebraic Equations

Algebra was invented to solve problems that could not be solved easily by arithmetic alone. Most of these types of problems can be stated as equations that contain at least one variable. Solving an equation means finding the value of the variable in that equation. This process often relies on your ability to work with algebraic expressions (see Chapter 20).

The Problems You’ll Work On

Here are a few of the skills you’ll be working on as you solve the problems in this chapter:

Solving simple equations just by looking at them

Solving equations by isolating the variable

Removing parentheses from both sides of the equation before solving

Solving equations that contain decimals and fractions

Solving simple quadratic equations by factoring

What to Watch Out For

Here are a few guidelines to keep you on track while solving algebraic equations:

Always ...