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Simple equations

Example: Solve
2x 1 = 17 -4=7 3 x - 9 = 5 x + 15

Equations involving fractions

Common mistakes are:
cancel when it is not a common factor
Multiply both the numerator and denominator.
Messing up the signs.

Look for common denominators, it will make simplifying easier.

Examples: Solve
3x 5 5x x - 3
1. = 2. - = x+2
x+2 2 2 4

4x + 3 2x -1
3. =
6 x - 5 3x + 2
Solving by factorisation
You will need to remember all of your factorising rules from the previous

Solving by factorising is based on the following principle.

For any real numbers a and b,

if ab = 0 then a = 0 or b = 0.

To solve by factorising,
1. factorise into brackets
2. make each bracket equal zero (0)
3. Solve each equation.

Examples: Solve
x2 9x + 18 = 0 x2 + 3x = 4 x2 10x + 25 = 0

Quadratic Formula
Quadratic equations can also be solved using the quadratic formula.

For the equation ax2 + bx + c = 0

-b b 2 - 4ac

Many people think that they should just use this formula for all questions. It is
much less work to factorise in brackets then using this equation.

Example: solve (3 significant figures)

1) 2x2 5x 12 = 0
Simultaneous equations
Solving simultaneous equations means that you are finding the solution to two
or more equations at once. It might be easier to think about the intersection
point of two lines. You should always check your answer by substitution to
ensure that you are correct.

Commentary is essential for solving simultaneous equations.

Substitution method

The substitution method involves substituting in the value of one pronumeral

into the second equation to eliminate a variable and solve.

1. Make x or y the subject of one equation.
2. Substitute the equation from 1 into the other equation.
3. Solve the equation in 2.
4. Substitute the answer just found into an equation to find the other
5. Substitute both to check.

Example: Solve for x and y.

2x + y = 12 x + 2y = 7
y = 5x 2 x 3y = 2
Elimination Method

The elimination method is where you add or subtract the two equations
together to eliminate a variable. You may need to multiply the whole equation
by a number for this to be possible.

Same sign subtract
Different sign add

1. Rearrange so that the equations are in the same form.
2. Multiply by a number if needed.
3. Add or subtract the whole equations so that one variable remains.
4. Solve
5. Substitute into equations to find the other pronumeral.
6. Substitute both to check.

Example: Solve for x and y.

2x + y = 7 2x + 2b = -2
x=y4 3x + 5b = 45