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Integrated Math Notes: Solve Two-Step Equations

Obj: Solve two-step equations.


Definition
A number is a solution to an equation if substituting that number for the
variable makes the equation true. Two equations are equivalent
equations if they have the same solutions.
Example 1
What are the solutions to x 2 10 x 21 0?
a)

x=3&x=5

b)

x=0&x=7

c)

x=3&x=7

d)

None of These

Solution
Answer: (c)
To check that x = 3 is a solution:

3 2 10 3 21 0

9 30 21 0
21 21 0

To check that x = 7 is a solution:

7 2 10 7 21 0

49 70 21 0
21 21 0

(The question now becomes how to find such solutions on our own,
from scratch. Fortunately, we have some general rules, or principles, to
guide us.)
The 3 Principles of Equation Solving
1. The goal of equation solving is to isolate the variable.
2. Use opposite operations to solve equations.
3. Whatever we do to one side of an equation, we do to both sides.
(Seesaw Principle)
Example 2
Solve and check: 2x 11 = 34.
Solution

Integrated Math Notes: Solve Two-Step Equations


(This is a 2-step equation because there are two numbers hanging
around the variable, x, i.e. on the same side of the equals sign. Since,
our goal is to isolate the x, we will cancel out these numbers, using
opposite operations.)
2 x 11 34
11 11
2 x 45
2

x = 22.5
Check:
2(22.5) 11 = 34.
45 11 = 34
34 = 34

Problem
Solve and check:

y
4 9.
3

Solution

y = 15
y
3

4 9
4 4
y
5
3

y
3

5 3

Check:
15

49
3
5+4=9
9 = 9