Chapter 4

Rolling Along with Rational and Radical Equations

IN THIS CHAPTER

Bullet Solving equations containing radicals and fractional exponents

Bullet Working with negative exponents

Bullet Recognizing quadratic-like equations and using unFOIL

Solving an algebraic equation requires some know-how. You need a game plan to solve equations with fractions, radicals, and negative or fractional exponents — one that involves careful planning and a final check of your answers. In this chapter, you find out how to tackle equations by changing them into new versions that are more familiar and easier to solve. You also see a recurring theme of check your answers, because changing equations into different forms can introduce mysterious strangers into the mix — in the form of false answers.

Rounding Up Rational Equations and Eliminating Fractions

An equation with one or more terms, at least one of which is rational, is called a rational equation. You probably hope that all your problems (and the people you associate with) are rational, but an equation that contains fractions isn’t always easy to handle.

Remember A general ...

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