Chapter 15

# Finding the Right Balance: Solving Algebraic Equations

In This Chapter Solving simple algebraic equations without algebra Understanding the balance scale method Moving terms across the equal sign Using cross-multiplication to simplify equations

In this chapter, you use your skills in doing the Big Four operations and simplifying algebraic expressions (see Chapter 14) to solve algebraic equations — that is, equations with one or more variables (such as x). Solving an equation means you figure out the value of the variable. First, I show you how to solve very simple equations for x without using algebra. Then, as the problems get tougher, I show you a variety of methods to figure out the value of x.

## Solving Simple Algebraic Equations

You don't always need algebra to solve an algebraic equation. Here are three ways to solve simpler problems:

• Inspection: For the very simplest algebra problems, inspection — just looking at the problem — is enough. The answer just jumps out at you.
• Rewriting the problem: In slightly harder problems, you may be able to rewrite the problem so ...

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