Solving Equations Strategies

We’ve done several methods of solving equations:

1. The cover-up method has you cover up the number and guess-and-check your answers.

2. The drawing method is where you draw a balance beam and write your equation out visually. For example 3x + 2 = 2x + 5 would look like:
x x x + + | x x + + + + +
then you take away variables and or numbers until you have x equal to a number.

3. The algebraic method has you show how you solve the equation. The video by Nutshell Math shows how to solve multi-step equations algebraically.

Strategy: Always check your answer by re-writing the original problem.

Strategy: When checking, wherever there are variables in your equation write parenthesis. Put the answer into the parenthesis and check that both sides are equal.

For example, 2x – 3 = -9, x = -3.

2( ) – 3 = -9 Write parenthesis where there are variables.
2(-3) – 3 = -9 Then substitute in answer.
-6 – 3 = -9 Simplify.
-9 = -9 Make sure the left-hand side equals the right-hand side.

Warning: If the two sides are not equal, your answer isn’t correct. Check your work in the original problem.



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