Introduction: How to Solve an Algebra Problem

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This instructable is about how to solve hard algebra problems. You may have to look closely on some of the steps, though. Sorry about that. 

Step 1: Write Down the Problem

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The first thing you do when solving an algebra problem is write the problem and the steps down. Teachers love seeing the steps and it makes it easier to catch mistakes. FYI, I didn't get this problem out of a textbook. I just randomly came up with it.  

Step 2: PEMDAS

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The acronym PEMDAS is something you will use every time you work with equations. It stands for Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add, and Subtract. Before we begin solving, I would like to say that we are leaving the 180x for later. Don't do anything to it yet. 

Step 3: Solve the Parenthesis

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There are 2 ways to solve parenthesis: the Distribution Property, or just solving the equation in the parenthesis. During Distribution, you multiply the number immediately outside the parenthesis by each of the integers on the inside. Either method works, so do whichever you like most. I stuck with just solving the equation that was in the parenthesis: 30/3=10.

Step 4: Handle the Exponents/ Square Roots

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There are no exponents in this problem, but I drew one so you could see what one looks like. When dealing with exponents, you donot multiply the big number by the little one. The exponent (little number) tells you how many times the big number is multiplied by itself. In this case; 3*3=9 

Step 5: Multiply

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Multiplication can be viewed in many forms, such as 2(10), 2*10, or 2x10. All of these mean the exact same thing: 2 times 10. In algebra, however, the variable "x" is quite common, so you may want to stop using that form. Multiply 2(10)=20, and 5*11=55.

Step 6: Divide

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Now we divide. Multiplying and dividing can be done in the same step, but I just chose not to. 2/1=2.

Step 7: Add/ Subtract (aka, Combine Like Terms)

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Now you add and subtract. In algebra, we do this thing called "combining like terms." This means that we see 17-55 as a 17 and -55. We just add those, and the rest of the numbers up in a calculator to get the next answer. I circled the positive numbers and boxed the negative number to help you see my point. 20+17-55+2=-16.

Step 8: Find X by Division

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Next, we solve for x. We do this by dividing both side of the equal sign by 180. The slash shows that the 2 "180's" cancel each other out, leaving x behind (180x means 180*x, by the way).  X= -16/180. 

Step 9: The Final Answer

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Lastly, divide -16 by 180, and you have your final answer! 


booknerd15 (author)2013-07-02

You can leave the final answer as the fraction -16/180, but I don't like answers that end in fractions, so I made it a decimal by dividing -16 by 180.

speer.nelson (author)booknerd152017-01-26

F--k off fractions are bae

TimH147 (author)booknerd152016-04-26

If you were to leave your answer as a factor you should factor it though.

-16/180 is -4/45

AlexejP (author)2014-10-18

Hey, nice ible, although there is one mistake in the second pic in step 3. You can't just multiply both integers in the parenthesis. You have to imagine it as a fraction and multiply just the first number, so it's like 2(30/3) = (2*30)/3 = 60/3 = 20, not 60/6 ;)

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