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Unir 2 Maths Revision

AQA
GCSE
Maths
Unit 2 Exam

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Common factors 01/03/2011 20:20
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Maths
Common factors
Factorising an expression simplifies it in some way.
Factorising is the reverse of expanding brackets.

Common factors
If you cannot remember what factors are, or how to find them,
have another look at: Algebra / Common factors -
Foundation.
When multiplying out 3(4x - 7), the rule was to multiply
everything in the brackets by 3.
This gives 3(4x - 7) = 12x - 21
So, when asked to factorise 12x - 21 look for the Highest
Common Factor (HCF) of 12 and 21 (in this case 3) and divide
both terms by this number.
12x - 21 = 3(4x - 7)

Question
Factorise 24a + 16

Answer
24a + 16 = 8(3a + 2)
Therefore, the HCF of 24 and 16 is 8.

Factorsing Quadratics
You can also factorise quadratic expressions. Eg x 2+x can be
factorised to x (x+1)
Example
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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Common factors 01/03/2011 20:20
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Factorise 3p 2 - 6p

Solution

3p 2 means 3 x p x p, and 6p means 6 x p.


The HCF of 3 and 6 is 3, and the HCF of p 2 and p is p, so
we divide both terms by 3p:

3p 2 - 6p = 3p(p - 2)
Remember that most people find expanding brackets easier than
factorising, so always check that your answer is correct by
multiplying out and seeing whether you have what you started
with.

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Converting fractions, decimals and percentages 01/03/2011 20:24
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Maths
Converting fractions, decimals and percentages
Fractions, decimals and percentages can all represent the
same information. But can you convert between them?

Fractions and decimals


Converting a fraction to a decimal
To change a fraction to a decimal, you divide the top number by
the bottom number. (Divide the numerator by the denominator.)
Example

To convert 3/ 8 to a decimal, we calculate 3 ÷ 8

so 3/ 8 = 0.375

Some decimals will terminate (end) like the example above, but
many will not.

For example 2/ 7 does not terminate.

There are some fraction/decimal equivalents that you should be


familiar with:
1 / = 0.5
2
1 / = 0.25
4
3 / = 0.75
4
1 / = 0.333333...
3
or

Converting a decimal into a fraction

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Converting fractions, decimals and percentages 01/03/2011 20:24
Unir 2 Maths Revision

If the decimal terminates (ends), the denominator will be 10, or


100, or 1000 or… (depending on the number of decimal places).

0.5 means 'five tenths’, so 0.5 = 5/ 10 = 1/ 2

0.45 means '45 hundredths', so 0.45 = 45/ 100 = 9/ 20

0.240 means ‘240 thousandths’, so 0.240 = 240 / 1000 = 6/ 25

etc
If the decimal repeats with a single digit, the denominator will be
9:

0.2222222... = 2/ 9

0.4444444... = 4/ 9

0.6666666... = 6/ 9 = 2/ 3

If the decimal repeats with two digits, the denominator will be 99:

0.24242424... = 24/ 99

etc
If the decimal does not repeat at all it is known as an irrational
number, and you cannot write it as a fraction.

Fractions and decimals: Higher


How do we know whether a fraction will give a terminating
decimal? The rule is to find the prime factors of the denominator.
If the prime factors are only 2 and/or 5 the decimal will
terminate.
Examples
3/
28

28 = 2 x 2 x 7
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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Converting fractions, decimals and percentages 01/03/2011 20:24
Unir 2 Maths Revision

so the decimal will not terminate. It will be a recurring decimal.


7/
40

40 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 5
The prime factors of 40 consist of 2s and 5s, so the decimal will
terminate.
6/
125

125 = 5 x 5 x 5
The decimal will terminate.
71/
120

120 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 3 x 5
There is a 3 in there, so the decimal will recur.

Fractions and percentages


Converting a fraction to a percentage
To change a fraction to a percentage multiply it by 100.
Example
7/ 7
10 becomes / 10 × 100 = 70%

Remember: you might find it easier to convert the fraction to a


decimal before you multiply by 100.
Example
9/
10 = 0.9

0.9 x 100 = 90%

Converting a percentage to a fraction


To change a percentage to a fraction divide by 100.
Examples
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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Converting fractions, decimals and percentages 01/03/2011 20:24
Unir 2 Maths Revision

37% become 37/ 100

4% becomes 4/ 100 = 1/ 25

Decimals and percentages


Converting a decimal to a percentage
To change a decimal to a percentage multiply it by 100.
Examples
0.4 becomes 0.4 x 100 = 40%.
2.01 becomes 2.01 x 100 = 201%.

Converting a percentage to a decimal


To change a percentage to a decimal divide by 100.
Examples
34% = 0.34
2% = 0.02
125% = 1.25

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Equations with fractions - Higher 01/03/2011 20:16
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Maths
Equations with fractions - Higher
In addition to solving simple equations, at the higher level
you also need to know how to solve equations with
fractions.

Fractions
How do we solve the equation x/ 2 − 4 = 3?

One way is to multiply everything by 2:


x/ − 4 = 3
2

x-8=6
x = 14
Or, alternatively, add 4 and then multiply both sides by 2:
x/ − 4 = 3
2

x/ = 7
2

x = 14

Question
Solve the equation: 4 − x/ 3 = 1

Answer
Method 1

4 − x/ 3 = 1

(multiply by 3) 12 − x = 3

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Equations with fractions - Higher 01/03/2011 20:16
Unir 2 Maths Revision

(add x) 12 = 3 + x
(minus 3) x = 9
Method 2

4 − x/ 3 = 1

(add x/ 3) 4 = 1 + x/ 3

(minus 1) 3 = x/ 3

(multiply 3) x = 9

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Factorising quadratic equations 01/03/2011 20:20
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Maths
Factorising quadratic equations
You can also factorise quadratic equations. Remember that
factorising an equation simplifies it in some way.
Factorising is the reverse of expanding brackets.

Factorising quadratic equations


To factorise an equation such x2 + 5x + 6, you need to look for
two numbers which add up to make 5 and multiply to give 6
The factor pairs of 6 are 1 and 6, 2 and 3
2 and 3 add up to 5

So (x +2 ) (x+3) = x2 + 5x + 6
Factorising expressions gets trickier with negative numbers.

Question
Factorise the expression c2- 3c - 10

Answer
Write down the equation:
c2- 3c - 10
Remember that to factorise an expression we need to look
for common factor pairs.
In this example we are looking for two numbers which:
multiply to give -10
add to give -3
Think of all the factor pairs of -10:
1 and -10, -1 and 10, 2 and -5, -2 and 5
Which of these factor pairs can be added to get -3?

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Factorising quadratic equations 01/03/2011 20:20
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Only 2 + (-5) = -3
So the answer is:

c2 - 3c - 10 = (c + 2)(c - 5)

Activity
Get up to speed with
multiplying out
brackets and
factorising with the
Snap Game
Play

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Index notation 01/03/2011 20:15
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Maths
Index notation
You should already have looked at indices in Number /
Powers and roots - Foundation before working through this
Revision Bite.

Index notation
Index notation is used to repesentent powers, for example

a2 means a × a and here the index is 2

b3 means b × b × b and here the index is 3

c4 means c × c × c × c and here the index is 4


etc.
When there is a number in front of the variable:

4d 2 means 4 × d × d.

2e 3 means 2 × e × e × e

Index laws
Multiplying and dividing

When multiplying you add the indices, and when dividing


you subtract the indices.

So it follows that:

p3 × p7 = p10, and s5 ÷ s3 = s2
For the expression:

4s 3 x 3s 2
The numbers in front of the variables follow the usual rules of

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Index notation 01/03/2011 20:15
Unir 2 Maths Revision

multiplication and division, but index numbers follow the rules of


indices. So we multiply 4 and 3 and add 3 and 2

4s 3 × 3s 2 = 12s5

Question
What is 3c 2 × 5c 4?

Answer
To work it out:
Add the indices:
2+4=6
Multiply the numbers in front of the variable:
3x2
Answer:
3c 2 × 5c 4 = 15c 6

Note: Take care when multiplying and dividing expressions such


as y × y4 or z3 ÷ z.

y is the same as y1, so y × y4 = y5.

z is the same as z1, so z3 ÷ z = z2.

Adding and subtracting

You can only add and subtract ‘like terms’.

3, 4 and 20 are all like terms (because they are all numbers).
a, 3a and 200a are all like terms (because they are all multiples
of a).

a2, 10a2 and -2a 2 are all like terms (because they are all

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Index notation 01/03/2011 20:15
Unir 2 Maths Revision

multiples of a2)

You cannot simplify an expression like 4p + p2 because 4p and


p2 are not like terms.

But you can simplify 3r2 + 5r2 + r 2.

3r2 + 5r2 + r 2 tells us that we have ‘three lots of r 2’ + ‘five lots of


r 2’ + ‘one lot of r 2’ - so in total ‘nine lots of r 2’, or 9r2.

So, 3r2 + 5r2 + r 2 = 9r2

Question
What is s2 + 8s 2 - 2s 2?

Answer
Answer: 7s 2

Remember that 1 + 8 - 2 = 7, so s2 + 8s 2 - 2s 2 = 7s 2

Remember that if we have a mix of terms we must gather


like terms before we simplify.

Example

3p 2 + 2p + 4 - 2p 2 + 5 = 3p 2 - 2p 2 + 2p + 4 + 5 = p2 + 2p + 9

Substitution
You might be asked to substitue a number into an expression.

For example , what is the value of 4p 3 when p = 2?

We know that 4p 3 means 4 × p × p × p, so when p = 2 we


substitute this into the expression: 4 × 2 × 2 × 2 (or 4 × 23) = 32

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Index notation 01/03/2011 20:15
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Question
What is the value of 4y 2 - y, when y = 3?

Answer
33
Remember that (4 × y × y) - y, becomes (4 × 3 × 3) - 3 or 36 -
3.

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Percentages - Higher 01/03/2011 20:24
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Maths
Percentages - Higher
'Percent' means 'out of 100'. If 90 per cent of the population
owns a mobile phone, this means 90 out of every 100
people have one. The symbol '%' means per cent.

Reverse percentages
Sometimes a question will ask you to work backwards and find
the original price of something after the price has increased. If
you are given a quantity after a percentage increase or
decrease, and you need to find the original amount, use this
method:
Example 1
A radio sells for £63, after a 40% increase in the cost price. Find
the cost price.

Solution
Start with the original amount as 100%.
Cost price = 100%
We are told the selling price is a 40% in the cost price.
So the selling price is 100% + 40% = 140% of the cost price.
We know that the selling price is £63, so 140% = £63.
Now calculate 1%:

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Percentages - Higher 01/03/2011 20:24
Unir 2 Maths Revision

140% = £63
1% = £63/140
1% = £0.45
The cost price is 100%, so multiply £0.45 by 100.
Cost price = 0.45 × 100 = £45.
Example 2
A new car falls in value by 30% in a year. After a year, it is worth
£8,400.
Find the price of the car when it was new.
Solution
Remember that the original price of the car is 100%.
Original price = 100%.
Second-hand price = 100% - 30% = 70%.
So £8,400 = 70% of the original price.
So 1% of original price = £8,400 ÷ 70
Original price = 100% = 100 x 1% = 100 x (£8,400 ÷ 70)
= £12,000.
It is easy to go wrong in this type of question. Always check that
your answer is realistic.

Cumulative increase and decrease


Simple interest
With simple interest the amount of money borrowed remains
fixed.
For example £400 is borrowed for 3 years at an interest rate of
5% pa (pa means per annum, or each year).
Interest for one year = 5% of £400

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Percentages - Higher 01/03/2011 20:24
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= ( 5/ 100 ) × 400

= £20
Interest for 3 years = £20 × 3 = £60.
You can write this in a formula.
Interest = P × R × T
P (principal) is the amount borrowed.
R is the rate of interest per year.
T is the time in years.
Compound Interest
Here the interest is added to the principal at the end of each
year. So the next year the interest is worked out on a larger
amount of money than what was originally borrowed.
This means paying interest on the interest of previous years
(unlike simple interest, where you only pay interest on the
original amount).
This is how it is calculated:
£400 is borrowed for 3 years at 5% compound interest.

Principal at the start = £400

Interest in the 1st year = 5/ 100 × 400 = £20

Principal after 1 year = £420

Interest in the 2nd year = 5/ 100 × 420 = £21

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Percentages - Higher 01/03/2011 20:24
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Principal after 2 years = £441

Interest in the 3rd year = 5/ 100 × 441 = £22.05

Principal after 3 years = £463.05


The total interest charged under compound interest will be
£63.05.
This is different to the simple interest worked out above.

Four types of question


In percentage questions, read the question carefully and decide
what you are being asked to do. You may need to:
Find a given percentage of an amount.
Work out a percentage when given 2 amounts.
Work backwards from a percentage increase or decrease
(reverse percentages).
Find a cumulative change.

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Powers and roots - Higher 01/03/2011 20:25
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Maths
Powers and roots - Higher
In this Revision Bite we are going to look at standard index
form and zero, negative and fractional powers.

Standard index form


Adding and subtracting numbers in standard index
form:
Convert them into ordinary numbers, do the calculation, then
change them back if you want the answer in standard form.
Example 1

4.5 × 10 4 + 6.45 × 10 5
= 45,000 + 645,000
= 690,000

= 6.9 × 10 5

Multiplying and dividing numbers in standard form:


Here you can use the rules for multiplying and dividing powers.
Remember these rules:

To multiply powers you add, eg, 10 5 × 10 3 = 10 8


To divide powers you subtract, eg, 10 5 ÷ 10 3 = 10 2
Example 2

Simplify (2 × 10 3) × (3 × 10 6)
Solution
Multiply 2 by 3 and add the powers of 10:

(2 × 10 3) × (3 × 10 6) = 6 × 10 9

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Powers and roots - Higher 01/03/2011 20:25
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Question
Simplify (36 × 10 5) ÷ (6 × 10 3)

Answer
Did you get 6 ×10 2?
If not, remember that you should first work out 36 ÷ 6, then
work subtract the powers of 10 (because it is division), like
this:

(36 x 10 5) ÷ (6 × 10 3) = (36 ÷ 6) x (10 5 ÷ 10 3) = 6 ×10 2

Zero, negative and fractional powers


In the previous pages, we only looked at positive whole number
powers. We can also find zero, negative and fractional powers.
The rules below apply to these powers.

Power Answer Examples

a0 1 4 0 = 11000 = 137 0 = 1
Anything to the power 0 is equal to 1.

a -b

a 1/2

a 1/3

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Prime factors - Higher 01/03/2011 20:26
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Maths
Prime factors - Higher
If you have worked through Factors and multiples, you will
know that the factors of a number are all the numbers that
divide into it. In this Revision Bite we are going to look at
HCF and LCM.

Highest common factor and lowest common


multiple
We can use prime factors to find the highest common factor
(HCF) and lowest common multiple (LCM).

Highest common factor


Here are the list of prime factors of 24 and 36:
24 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 3
36 = 2 x 2 x 3 x 3
If we write down the numbers that are the same in both lists,
they will give us the highest common factor of 24 and 36:
HCF of 24 and 36 is 2 x 2 x 3 = 12

Lowest common multiple


To find the lowest common multiple, we need to think about
which list has the most of each factor.
24 = (2 x 2 x 2) x (3)
36 = (2 x 2) x (3 x 3)
24 has the most 2s. (it has three 2s). And 36 has the most 3s (it
has two 3s).
So the LCM of 24 and 36 is (2 x 2 x 2) x (3 x 3) = 72.

Question
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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Prime factors - Higher 01/03/2011 20:26
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Find the HCF and LCM of 90 and 175.

Answer
90 = 2 x 3 x 3 x 5
175 = 5 x 5 x 7
HCF = 5

To find the LCM we group the prime factors using brackets.


90 = (2) x (3 x 3) x (5)
175 = (5 x 5) x (7)
LCM = 2 x (3 x 3) x (5 x 5) x 7 = 3150

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Quadratic sequences - Higher 01/03/2011 20:22
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Maths
Quadratic sequences - Higher
A sequence is a set of numbers that are connected in some
way. In this section we will look at quadratic sequences
where the difference between the terms changes.

Quadratic sequences
If the difference between the terms changes, this is called a
quadratic sequence.

If you use the formula n2 + n to make a sequence, it means that:

When n = 1 you get 1 2 + 1 = 2


When n = 2 you get 2 2 + 2 = 6
When n = 3 you get 3 2 + 3 = 12
When n = 4 you get 4 2 + 4 = 20
- giving the sequence 2, 6, 12, 20.
Here, the differences between terms are not constant, but there
is still a pattern.
- the first differences increase by 2 each time
- the second increases by 2

When the second difference is constant, you have a quadratic


sequence - ie, there is an n2 term.

Learn these rules:


If the second difference is 2, you start with n 2.
If the second difference is 4, you start with 2n 2.
If the second difference is 6, you start with 3n 2.
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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Quadratic sequences - Higher 01/03/2011 20:22
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Question
Write down the next two terms and find a formula for the nth
term of the sequence:
5, 12, 23, 38, _, _,

Answer
Find the first differences between the terms:
7, 11, 15
Find the second differences between the terms.
The terms increase by 4 each time, so the second
difference is 4.
So, continuing the sequence, the differences between
each term will be:
15 + 4 = 19
19 + 4 = 23
So the next two terms in the sequence will be:
38 + 19 = 57
57 + 23 = 80
So the sequence will be:
5, 12, 23, 38, 57, 80
To calculate the formula for this sequence we know that the
second difference is 4. The start of the formula will therefore
be 2n 2.
To work out the next part of the sequence have a look at the
table below.

n th term 1 2 3 4 5 6

Sequence 5 12 23 38 57 80
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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Quadratic sequences - Higher 01/03/2011 20:22
Unir 2 Maths Revision

2n 2 2 8 18 32 50 72

Sequence - 2n 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

The difference between 2n 2and original number in the


sequence is n +2

So for the sequence 5, 12, 23, 38, the formula for the nth
term is 2n 2 + n + 2

Now practise recognising quadratic sequences in the activity


below.

Activity
Click here to play the
activity
Play

Now try a Test Bite

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Ratios 01/03/2011 20:25
Unir 2 Maths Revision

Maths
Ratios

Ratios
A ratio is a way to compare amounts of something. Recipes, for
example, are sometimes given as ratios. To make pastry you
may need to mix 2 parts flour to 1 part fat. This means the ratio
of flour to fat is 2 : 1.

If pastry is 2 parts flour to 1 part fat, then there are 3 parts (2 +


1) altogether. Two thirds of the pastry is flour; one third fat.
Ratios are similar to fractions; they can both be simplified by
finding common factors. Always try to divide by the highest
common factor. Have a look at this question.

Question
There are 15 girls and 12 boys in a class. What is the ratio of
girls to boys? Give your answer in its simplest form.

Answer
The ratio of girls to boys is 15:12
However, both sides of this ratio are divisible by 3
Dividing by 3 gives 5:4
5 and 4 have no common factors (apart from 1).
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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Ratios 01/03/2011 20:25
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So the simplest form of the ratio is 5:4


This means there are 5 girls in the class for every 4 boys.

Now practise ratios for yourself in this activity.

Activity
Ratios activity
Play

Now try some more difficult questions below.

Question
A newspaper includes 12 pages of sport and 8 pages of
TV. What is the ratio of sport to TV? Give your answer in

its simplest form.

Answer
The answer is 3:2
You can divide both sides of 12:8 by 4.
If your answer was incorrect, try to fill in the blanks here:
The ratio is 12:8.
Both of these numbers are divisible by 4.
Dividing by ? gives 3:2.

You have to be sure that the things you are comparing are

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Ratios 01/03/2011 20:25
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measured in the same units. Look at the following problem:

Question
Anna has 75p.
Fiona has £1.20.
What is the ratio of Anna's money to Fiona's money, in its
simplest form?

Answer
One amount is in pence, the other in pounds. We have to
convert Fiona's amount into pence first:
£1.20 = 120p.
Now the ratio is 75:120. Both sides are divisible by 15.
Dividing both sides by 15 gives 5:8
So the ratio is 5:8.

Writing a ratio in the form 1:n or n:1


We have already covered that to write a ratio in its simplest form
we divide both sides by their highest common factor (just as we
divide the top and bottom of a fraction).
For example, 12:15 becomes 4:5, and 4:8 becomes 1:2.
When a ratio is in its simplest form, all the numbers are whole
numbers.
However, it is sometimes useful to write a ratio in the form 1:n or
n:1 (where n is any number, possibly a fraction or decimal). This
means we will not necessarily be dealing with whole numbers.
For example, if we are asked to write the ratio 2:5 in the form
1:n, we need to make the left-hand side of the ratio equal to 1.
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We do this by dividing both sides of the ratio by 2.

2:5 = 2/ 2 : 5/ 2

= 1 : 2.5
If we were asked to write 2:5 in the form n:1, we would need to
make the right-hand side equal to 1. So we would divide both
sides by 5:

2:5 = 2/ 5 : 5/ 5= 0.4 : 1

Question
Write the ratio 6:9 in:
a) the form 1:n
b) the form n:1

Answer
a) Did you get 1 : 1.5? You divide both sides by 6.
b) You should have divided both sides by 9 to get 0.6667 : 1

or written as a fraction this would be 2/ 3 : 1

Using ratios
Ratios can be used to solve many different problems - for
example, with recipes, scale drawings or map work. A typical
question will expect you to change a ratio - the reverse of
cancelling down.

Question
Sam does a scale drawing of his kitchen. He uses a scale of
1:100. He measures the length of the kitchen as 5.9m.

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How long is the kitchen on the scale drawing? Give your


answer in mm.

Answer
The answer is 59mm.
You need to convert 5.9m to mm, then divided by 100 to give
the answer.
If you did not get the correct answer, remember that the scale
of 1:100 means that the real kitchen is 100 times bigger than
the scale drawing.
5.9m = 590cm (multiplied by 100) = 5900mm (multiplied by
10)
So the scale drawing would be 5900 ÷ 100 = 59mm.

Another typical question will give you a recipe to modify for a


different number of people.

Question
A recipe to make lasagne for 6 people uses 300 grams of
minced beef. How much minced beef would be needed to
serve 8 people?

Answer
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The best way to approach a problem like this is to find out how
much 1 person would need first.
Six people need 300g.
So 1 person needs 50g (300 ÷ 6).
So 8 people need 50g × 8 = 400g.

Try this one.

Question
A recipe for flapjacks requires 240g of oats. This makes 18
flapjacks.
What quantity of oats is needed to make 24 flapjacks?

Answer
The answer is 320g.
You divide 240 by 18, then multiply the answer by 24.
If you had problems working out the answer, try to fill in the
blanks here:
Eighteen flapjacks need 240g.
So 1 flapjack needs ?g (240 divided by 18).
So 24 flapjacks need 13.3333 × ? = 320g.

Dividing in a ratio
Ratios are also used when dividing up amounts. The basic
method is:
1. Simplify the ratio, if possible (not essential, but it makes
life easier in the long run).
2. Add the numbers in the ratio together (to get the total
number of parts needed).

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3. Divide the amount by this total number of parts.


4. Multiply the answer by each of the numbers in the ratio.

Question
Amit is 12 years old. His brother, Arun, is 9.
Their grandfather gives them £140, which is to be divided
between them in the ratio of their ages. How much does each
of them get?

Answer
The ratio of their ages is 12:9
We can simplify this. Dividing by 3 gives 4:3.
So Amit gets 4 parts, and Arun gets 3.
This means that the money has to be divided into 7 parts (4 +
3).
£140 ÷ 7 = £20, so 1 part is £20.
Amit gets 4 parts: 4 × £20 = £80.
Arun gets 3 parts: 3 × £20 = £60.
(Check that they add to make the total amount: £80 + £60 =
£140.)

A ratio can have more than 2 numbers in it. Here is another


typical question.

Question
The angles in a triangle are in the ratio 1:2:9. Find the size of
the largest angle.

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Answer
1 + 2 + 9 = 12 so in total, there are 12 parts.
The angles in a triangle add up to 180 degrees.
So 1 part is 180 ÷ 12 = 15
The largest angle in the ratio is the 9.
9 × 15 = 135 degrees.

Try this one.

Question
In a certain town, the ratio of left-handed people to right-
handed people is 2:9. How many right-handed people would
you expect to find in a group of 132 people?

Answer
Did you get the answer 108?
You divide 132 by 11, and multiply by 9.
If you did not get the correct answer, see if you can fill in the
blanks here:
2 + 9 = 11
132 ÷ 11 = ?
9 × ? = 108 people.

Direct proportion
Two quantities are in direct proportion when they increase or
decrease in the same ratio. For example, you could increase
something by doubling it, or decrease it by halving.

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Here is a typical problem:

Question
Twelve pencils cost 72p. Find the cost of 30 pencils.

Answer
To solve this problem, we need to know the cost of one pencil.
We know that 12 pencils cost 72p, so if we divide 72 by 12 to
give us the cost of one pencil:
72 ÷ 12 = 6
So 1 pencil costs 6p. Now we need to know the cost of 30
pencils. We multiply 6p by 30.
6 × 30 = 180p.
So 30 pencils cost £1.80.
If you had a problem working out the answer, the basic
method to remember is to divide by how many you know, then
multiply by what you want to know.

Try this one:

Question
Jenny buys 15 felt-tip pens. It costs her £2.85. How much
would 20 pens have cost?

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Answer
The answer is £3.80.
You divide 2.85 by 15, then multiply the answer by 20.
If you had problems working out the answer, see if you can fill
in the blanks here:
15 pens cost £2.85
1 pen costs £2.85 ÷ ? = £0.19
So 20 pens would cost £0.19 × ? = £3.80.

Now try a Test Bite

Back to Revision Bite

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Re-arranging symbols 01/03/2011 19:17
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Maths
Re-arranging symbols
In algebra, we often get very long expressions that we need
to make simpler. Simpler expressions are easier to solve.

Collecting like terms


To simplify an expression, we collect like terms. Like terms
include letters and numbers that are the same.
Look at the expression 4x + 5x -2 - 2x + 7
To simplify:

The x terms can be collected together to give 7x.


The numbers can be collected together to give 5.
So 4x + 5x -2 - 2x + 7 simplified is 7x + 5.

Remember that terms are separated by + and - signs, and


these are always attached to the front of a term.

Question
Simplify this expression: x + 5 + 3x- 7 + 9x+ 3 - 4x

Answer
To work it out:
Write down the expression
x + 5 + 3x - 7 + 9x + 3 - 4x
Collect all the terms together which are alike. Remember
that each term comes with an operation (+, -) which goes
before it.
x + 3x + 9x - 4x + 5 - 7 + 3

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Simplify the x terms.


x + 3x + 9x - 4x = 9x
Simplify the numbers separately.
5-7+3=1
Answer: x + 5 + 3x - 7 + 9x + 3 - 4x can be simplified to 9x +
1

Different terms
To answer some exam questions you will have to simplify an
expression that has many different terms or letters.
Have a look at this typical exam question. You will notice that
there are three different terms in this question: x, y and z.

Question
Simplify the expression 5x + 3y - 6x + 4y + 3z

Answer
To work it out:
Write down the expression
5x + 3y - 6x + 4y + 3z
Collect the like terms together - i.e., re-order them
5x - 6x + 3y + 4y + 3z
Simplify your expression, x first
5x - 6x = -x (ie, -1x)
Then simplify y
3y + 4y = 7y
Then simplify z
3z
The answer is: -x + 7y + 3z
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Try another question in the activity below.

Multiplying out brackets


In your exam, you might get a question that requires you to
multiply out brackets.

Remember that a term outside the bracket (or sometimes


in another bracket) is multiplying everything inside the
bracket.
You also need to remember some basic algebra
shorthand:
2a means 2 times a.
ab means a times b.

a2 means a times a.

Have a look at this example:


Multiply out: 3(4x - 7)
First multiply: 3 × 4x = 12x
Then multiply: 3 × -7 = - 21
Therefore: 3(4x - 7) = 12x - 21
Here's a typical exam question.

Question
Multiply out 2(9y + 5)

Answer
Every term in the brackets gets multiplied by 2.
2 × 9y = 18y
2 × 5 = 10

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2(9y + 5)= 18y + 10

Have a go at the following questions.

Question
Multiply out the following:-
a(2a - 5)

Answer
a × 2a = 2a 2
a × -5 = -5a
a(2a - 5) = 2a 2 - 5a

Now have a go yourself. Practise multiplying out brackets.

Expressions that use negative numbers


Example
Multiply out the expression:
-3(2n - 8)
First, multiply -3 × 2n = - 6n
Then multiply -3 × -8 = 24
-6n + 24
Therefore, -3(2n - 8) = - 6n + 24

Question
Multiply out the expression:
- 5(4e - 2c)

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Answer
Every term in the bracket gets multiplied by -5.
-5 × 4e = -20e
-5 × -2c = 10c
Therefore, -5(4e - 2c) = - 20e +10c

Multiplying out two brackets


When we multiply out a pair of brackets, everything in the
second bracket has to be multiplied by everything in the first
bracket.
One way to multiply out a pair of brackets is by taking each term
in the first bracket and multiplying it against the second bracket.

Example
Multiply out these two brackets:
(x + 4) (x + 3)
Multiply everything in the first bracket by the second bracket:
x (x + 3) + 4 (x + 3)
= x2 + 3x + 4x + 12
= x2 + 7x + 12
Try the activity below.

Brackets and powers


Now take a look at brackets and powers. If you are asked to
multiply out an expression such as (a - 5)2, remember that
squaring means multiplying by itself.

Question
Multiply out (a - 5)2

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Answer
To work it out:

Write down the expression: (a - 5)2


Expand the expression by writing it out: (a - 5) (a - 5)
Everything in the first bracket is multiplied by the second
bracket: a(a - 5) - 5(a - 5)
Expand the brackets, by multiplying everything inside the
brackets by the term outside the bracket:

a × a = a2
a × -5 = -5a
- 5 × a = -5a
- 5 × - 5 = 25

The expression now looks like this: a2 - 5a - 5a + 25

Which can be simplified to: a2 - 10a + 25

Now try a Test Bite

Back to Revision Bite

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Recognising sequences 01/03/2011 20:21
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Maths
Recognising sequences
A sequence is a set of numbers that are connected in some
way. For your exam, you will need to learn how to recognise
different types of sequence, how to find missing terms, and
how to find a general term.

Recognising sequences
A sequence is a list of numbers. The numbers are called the
terms of the sequence.
There are many well-known sequences of numbers which you
should be able to recognise.

Even numbers
2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12…

Odd numbers
1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11…

Square numbers
1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64…

Cube numbers
1, 8, 27, 64, 125…

Powers of 2
2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64…

Powers of 10
10, 100, 1,000, 10,000, 100,000, 1,000,000…

Triangle numbers
1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 21, 28…

Linear sequences
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1, 4, 7, 10 is a sequence starting with 1.


You get the next term by adding 3 to the previous term.

You are often asked to find a formula for the nth term.

As the common difference is 3, try 3n.


When n = 1, 3n = 3, and we subtract 2 to make the first
term correct.
So the n th term = 3n - 2
This method will always work for sequences where the
difference between terms stays the same.

Question
Find the nth term in the sequence 1, 5, 9, 13.

Answer

n th term 1 2 3 4 5

Original number 1 5 9 13 17
Difference between each term 4 4 4 4

First, find the difference between each term.


The difference between each term is 4.
This lets you work out the first part of the formula.
The formula for this sequence will start with 4n.
Now look at each term.
When n = 1, 4n = 4.
We therefore have to subtract 3 to get the first correct

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term.
The formula for the sequence is 4n - 3.

Practise recognising sequences in the activity below.

Activity
Click here to play the
activity
Play

Now try a Test Bite

Back to Revision Bite

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Rounding and estimating 01/03/2011 20:23
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Maths
Rounding and estimating
Some exam questions may ask you to give the answer in a
simplified form. Rounding and estimating are two ways to
make numbers easier to manage.

Rounding numbers
Giving the complete number for something is sometimes
unnecessary. For instance, the attendance at a football match
might be 23745. But for most people who want to know the
attendance figure, an answer of 'nearly 24000', or 'roughly
23700', is fine.
We can round off large numbers like
these to the nearest thousand,
nearest hundred, nearest ten, nearest
whole number, or any other specified
number.
Round 23745 to the nearest thousand.
football
First, look at the digit in the thousands
place. It is 3. This means the number lies between 23000 and
24000. Look at the digit to the right of the 3. It is 7. That means
23745 is closer to 24000 than 23000.
Remember
The rule is, if the next digit is: 5 or more, we 'round up'. 4 or
less, it stays at it is.
23745 to the nearest thousand = 24000.
23745 to the nearest hundred = 23700.

Question

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What is 23745 rounded to the nearest ten?

Answer
Did you get the answer 23750?
If so, well done! You saw that 23745 lies between 23740 and
23750, but is closer to 23750.
If you did not get the correct answer, remember that the tens
digit is 4. This means that the number lies between 23740 and
23750. The next digit is 5, so we round up: 23745 = 23750 to
the nearest ten.

Decimal places
Sometimes, rather than rounding off to the nearest whole
number, you might need to be a little more accurate. You might
need to include some of the digits after the decimal point.
In these cases, we can round off the number up to a certain
number of decimal places.
Do not confuse this with rounding off using significant figures
(intermediate), as this is slightly different!
Remember
The same rules for rounding up apply here:
5 or more, we 'round up'.
4 or less, it stays as it is.

Question
Write 2.6470588 to 2 decimal places (dp).

Answer
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Did you get the answer 2.65? You needed to round up. We
want 2 decimal places.
Look at the 2nd decimal digit.

The 2nd decimal digit is 4. So the number lies between 2.64


and 2.65
Look at the next digit.
The next digit is 7, so we have to round up. So the answer is
2.65 (2 dp).

Question
On a calculator, work out , giving your answer correct to
one decimal place.

Answer
On a calculator, work out = 7.874007874...
We need one decimal place. That means one number after
the decimal point. The 1st number after the decimal point is 8.
This means the answer lies between 7.8 and 7.9. The next
digit is 7. This means we have to round up.
So the answer is = 7.9 to 1 dp.

Question
Round off the number 3.9762645 to 1 dp.

Answer
The number lies between 3.9 and 4.0. The 7 after the 9

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means you have to round up. So the answer is 4.0

Significant figures
Sometimes we do not always need to give detailed answers to
problems - we just want a rough idea. When we are faced with a
long number, we could round it off to the nearest thousand, or
nearest million. And when we get a long decimal answer on a
calculator, we could round it off to a certain number of decimal
places.
Another method of giving an approximated answer is to round
off using significant figures.
The word significant means important. The closer a digit is to
the beginning of a number, the more important - or significant - it
is.
With the number 368249, the 3 is the most significant digit,
because it tells us that the number is 3 hundred thousand and
something. It follows that the 6 is the next most significant, and
so on.
With the number 0.0000058763, the 5 is the most significant
digit, because it tells us that the number is 5 millionths and
something. The 8 is the next most significant, and so on.
We round off a number using a certain number of significant
figures. The most common are 1, 2 or 3 significant figures.
Remember the rules for rounding up are the same as before:
If the next number is 5 or more, we round up.
If the next number is 4 or less, we do not round up.

Question
What would you get if you wrote the number 368249 correct
to 1 significant figure?

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Answer
Did you get the answer 400000?
3 is the first significant figure, and the digit after it is more than
5, so you round up.

Question
What would you get if you wrote the number 0.00245 correct
to 1 significant figure?

Answer
Did you get the answer 0.002?
2 is the first significant figure and the digit after this is less
than 5, so you do not round up.

Higher only

Question
What would you get if you wrote 0.0000058763 correct to 2
significant figures?

Answer
Did you get the answer 0.0000059?
You had to round up the 8 to 9.
If you had problems, remember that the 2 most significant
figures are 5 and 8. The digit after 8 is 7, so we have to round
up 8 to 9.

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So 0.0000058763 = 0.0000059 to 2 significant figures.

Estimating
We can use significant figures to get an approximate answer to
a problem.
We can round off all the numbers in a maths problem to 1
significant figure to make 'easier' numbers. It is often possible to
do this in your head.

Question
Find a rough answer to

Answer
We first round off both numbers to 1 significant figure (s.f.):
19.4 = 20 (1 s.f.)
0.0437 = 0.04 (1 s.f.)
So we now need to make the denominator a whole number.
We can do this by multiplying both 20 and 0.04 by 100.

Divide everything by 4.

The real answer to 19.4 ÷ 0.0437 = 443.9359... So this was a


good estimate.

Try this one. Remember, the working you do is just as important


as the answer.

Question
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How would you get an approximate answer for 386062 ×


0.007243?

Answer
Did you get the answer 400000 × 0.007 = 2800?
If so, well done! You rounded off correctly and worked out the
approximate answer.
Rounding to 1 s.f.
386062 = 400000
0.007243 = 0.007
So 400000 × 0.007 = 2800

Now try a Test Bite: Foundation or Higher.

Back to Revision Bite

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Simultaneous equations - Higher 01/03/2011 20:18
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Maths
Simultaneous equations - Higher
Sometimes you will be asked to find 2 unknown values by
solving 2 equations at the same time. These types of
equations are called simultaneous equations.

Simultaneous equations
Simultaneous equations are two equations with two unknowns.
They are called simultaneous because they must both be solved
at the same time.
The first step is to try to eliminate one of the unknowns.

Example
Solve these simultaneous equations and find the values of x and
y.
Equation 1: 2x + y = 7
Equation 2: 3x - y = 8
Add the two equations to eliminate the ys:
2x + y = 7
3x - y = 8
------------
5x = 15
x=3
Now you can put x = 3 in either of the equations.
Substitute x = 3 into the equation 2x + y = 7:
6+y=7
y=1
So the answers are x = 3 and y = 1
Sometimes you will need to multiply one of the equations before
you can add or subtract. Have a look at the activity below.

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On other occasions you will need to multiply both equations to


find the unknown values. Always look for a way to cancel out
one of the unknown terms. Have a go at the question below.

Question
Solve the two equations:
Equation 1: 2a - 5b = 11
Equation 2: 3a + 2b = 7

Answer
4a - 10b = 22 (Multiply by 2)
15a + 10b = 35 (Multiply by 5)
----------------------
19a = 57 (Adding)
a=3
Put a = 3 into the equation 3a + 2b = 7:
9 + 2b = 7
2b = -2
b = -1
So the answers are a = 3 and b = -1.

We can also use a method of substitution. Look at the following


example:

Example
Solve the simultaneous equations:
Equation 1: y - 2x = 1
Equation 2: 2y - 3x = 5
Rearranging Equation 1, we get y = 1 + 2x
We can replace the ‘y’ in equation 2 by substituting it with 1 + 2x

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Equation 2 becomes: 2(1 + 2x) - 3x = 5


2 + 4x - 3x = 5
2+x=5
x=3
Substituting x = 3 into Equation 1 gives us y - 6 = 1, so y = 7.

Solving simultaneous equations using graphs


Solving simultaneous equations using a graph is easier than you
might think. First, you need to draw the lines of the equations.
The points where the lines cross is the solution.

Linear equations
The graphs of linear equations will give straight lines.

Example
Solve these simultaneous equations by drawing graphs:
2x + 3y = 6
4x - 6y = - 4
For example, to draw the line 2x + 3y = 6 pick two easy
numbers to plot. One when x = 0 and one where y= 0
When x = 0 in the equation 2x + 3y = 6
This means 3y = 6 so y = 2
So one point on the line is (0, 2)
When y = 0
2x = 6 so x = 3
So another point on the line is (3 ,0)
In an exam, only use this method if you are prompted to by a
question. It is usually quicker to use algebra if you are not asked
to use graphs.

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Simultaneous equations - Higher 01/03/2011 20:18
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Linear and quadratic equation


Example
Solve the simultaneous equations by drawing graphs.
y - 2x = 1
y = x2 - 2

Now try a Test Bite

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Solving and using quadratic equations 01/03/2011 20:21
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Maths
Solving and using quadratic equations
Quadratic equations can be solved by factorising and
completing the square.

Solving quadratic equations by factorising


To solve a quadratic equation, the first step is to write it in the
form: ax 2 + bx + c = 0. Then factorise the equation as you have
revised in the previous section.
If we have two numbers, A and B, and we know that A × B = 0,
then it must follow that either A = 0, or B = 0 (or both). When we
multiply any number by 0, we get 0.

Example
Solve the equation x2 - 9x + 20 = 0
Solution

First, factorise the quadratic equation x2- 9x + 20 = 0


Find two numbers which add up to 9 and multiply to give 20.
These numbers are 4 and 5.
(x - 4) (x - 5) = 0
Now find the value x so that when these brackets are
multiplied together the answer is 0.
This means either (x - 4) = 0 or (x - 5) = 0
So x = 4 or x = 5.
You can check these answers by substitutuing 4 and 5 in to
the equation:

x2- 9x + 20

Substituting 4 gives:
4 2 - 9 × 4 + 20 = 16 - 36 + 20 = 0
Substituting 5 gives:
5 2 - 9 × 5 + 20 = 25 - 45 + 20 = 0

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Remember these 3 simple steps and you will be able to solve


quadratic equations.
Now try this question.

Now try aTest Bite (Foundation).

Completing the square - Higher


This is another way to solve a quadratic equation if the equation
will not factorise.
It is often convenient to write an algebraic expression as a
square plus another term. The other term is found by dividing
the coefficient of x by 2, and squaring it.
Any quadratic equation can be rearranged so that it can be
solved in this way.
Have a look at this example.

Example 1
Rewrite x2 + 6x as a square plus another term.
The coeffient of x is 6. Dividing 6 by 2 and squaring it gives 9.

x2 + 6x = (x2 + 6x + 9) - 9

= (x + 3)2 - 9

Example 2
We have seen in the previous example that x 2 + 6x = (x + 3)2 -
9

So work out x2 + 6x - 2

x2 + 6x - 2 = ( x2 + 6x + 9 ) - 9 - 2 = (x + 3)2 - 11
Now try one for yourself.

Question
Solve x2 + 6x - 2 = 0

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Answer
From the previous examples, we know that x2 + 6x - 2 = 0
can be written as (x + 3)2 - 11 = 0
So, to solve the equation, take the square root of both sides.
So (x + 3)2 = 11
x+3=+
or x + 3 = -
x=-3+
or x = - 3 -
x = - 3 + 3.317 or x = - 3 - 3.317 ( is 3.317)
x = 0.317 (3 s.f) or x = - 6.317 (3 s.f)

Example 3
Rewrite 2x 2 + 20x + 3

Rewrite to get x2 on its own.

2( x2 + 10x ) + 3
The coefficient of x is 10. Divide 10 by 2, and square to get
25.
= 2 ( ( x + 5)2 - 25) + 3
= 2 (x + 5)2 - 50 + 3
= 2 (x + 5)2 - 47

Question
Now use the previous example to solve 2x 2 + 20x + 3 = 0

Answer
From the previous example, we know that 2x 2 + 20x + 3 can
be rewritten as:

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2 (x + 5)2 - 47
Therefore, we can rewrite the equation as:
2(x + 5 )2 - 47 = 0
2(x + 5 )2 = 47
(x + 5 )2 = 23.5 (dividing both sides by 2)
Take the square root of both sides.
x+5=
or x + 5 = -
x=-5+
or x = - 5 -
x=-5+
or x = - 5 -
x = - 0.152 (3 s.f) or x = - 9.85 (3 s.f)

Using the quadratic formula - Higher


Using the technique of completing the square, you can make a
formula which works for all quadratic equations.
The most general way to write a quadratic equation is:
ax 2 + bx + c = 0
Here a, b and c are numbers that vary for different
equations.
So if the equation was:
2x 2 + 7x + 11 = 0
then a = 2, b = 7, c = 11.
The formula for the solution is:

This formula will work for all equations that can be solved.
Always try to factorise first. If the equation factorises, this is
the easier method. In an exam, any question that asks for an
answer to a quadratic equation correct to x decimal places

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should be solved using this formula. Take a look at this example:

Solve 2x 2 - 5x - 6 = 0
Here a = 2, b = -5, c = -6
Substituting these values in the formula, gives you:

Now try a Test Bite - Higher.

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Solving equations 01/03/2011 20:15
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Maths
Solving equations
Do you go blank when you see x, y and z in maths? Well,
this is your abc to solving equations.

Solving simple equations


In an equation, letters stand for a missing number. To solve an
equation, find the values of missing numbers. A typical exam
question is:
Solve the equation 2a + 3 = 7
This means we need to find the value of a. The answer is a = 2
There are two methods you can use when solving this type of
problem:

Trial and improvement


Using inverses
Trial and improvement
This method involves trying different values until we find one that
works.
Look at the equation 2x + 3 = 7
To solve it:
Write down the expression: 2x +3 = 7
Then choose a value for a that looks about right and work
out the equation. Try 3.
a = 3, so 2 ×3 + 3 = 9
Using 3 to represent a makes the calculation more than 7, so
choose a smaller number for a.
Try a = 2, then 2
2×2+3=7
Which gives the right answer. So a = 2
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Be systematic in your approach:

1. choose a number
2. work it out
3. then move the number up or down
However, sometimes the answers are negatives or decimals,
and the trial and improvement method will take a long time.
Luckily, there is a better method.

Using inverses
The best way to solve an equation is by using 'inverses', or
undoing what the equation is doing.
To use this method to solve equations remember that:

Adding and subtracting are the inverse (or opposite) of


each other.
Multiplying and dividing are the inverse of each other.
This method is explained in the next pages. But here for now is
how to solve the question in the above example using inverses:
First write down the expression:
2a + 3 = 7
Then undo the + 3 by subtracting 3. Remember, you need to
do it to BOTH sides!
2a + 3 - 3 = 7 - 3
so 2a = 4
Undo the multiply by 2 by dividing by 2 - again on both
sides:
2a ÷ 2 = 4 ÷ 2
The answer is: a = 2

Getting the unknown on its own


Now you've got the hang of simple equations, let's look at some
slightly trickier ones.

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Sometimes an equation will have multiples of an unknown - eg


3x = 12, 5b = 20 or 16y = 4
To solve these, you need to get the unknown on its own. Do this
by dividing both sides.

Question
Solve the equation 2y = 6 to find the value of y.

Answer
To get y on its own, we need to divide it by 2. As you already
know, you must always perform the same operation on both
sides of the equation.
2y ÷ 2 = 6 ÷ 2
y=3

Now try this question.

Unknowns on both sides of the equation.


Sometimes you will be asked to solve an equation with
unknowns on both sides of the equation.
Remember that whatever you do to one side you must also do to
the other.

Question
Solve the equation 3b + 4 = b + 12, and find the value of b.

Answer
First, you need to get all the bs on the same side of the
equation.

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Subtract b from both sides: 3b - b + 4 = 12


This simplifies to: 2b + 4 = 12
Subtract 4 from both sides: 2b = 8
To find the value of b, divide both sides by 2 So b = 4

Try another question in the activity below.

Equations with brackets


If an equation has brackets in it one method of solving it is to
multiply out the brackets first, for example:
Solve the equation 3(b + 2) = 15
Write down the equation:
3(b + 2) = 15
Multiply out the brackets. Remember, everything inside the
brackets gets multiplied by 3
3 × b + 3 ×2 = 15
When you have multiplied out the brackets you get:
3b + 6 = 15
Next, undo the + 6. In other words, do the inverse and
subtract 6 from both sides.
3b + 6 - 6 = 15 - 6
So 3b = 9
Therefore, to find out what b is you need to do the inverse of
multiplying by 3 which is dividing by 3.
So b = 3

Now try a Test Bite

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Surds - Higher 01/03/2011 20:25
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Maths
Surds - Higher

Basic rules
A surd is a square root which cannot be reduced to a whole
number. For example, is not a surd, as the answer is a
whole number. But is not a whole number. You could use a
calculator to find that but instead of this we often
leave our answers in the square root form, as a surd.
You need to be able to simplify expressions involving surds.
Here are some general rules that you will need to learn.

Now have a look at some questions.


Activity
Feeling confident?
Test yourself in a
quick game of before
trying some questions
for yourself below.
Play

Question
Simplify

Answer

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Question
Simplify

Answer
= = =6

Question

Simplify

Answer

Rationalising
Rationalising an expression means getting rid of any surds from
the bottom of fractions. Usually when you are asked to simplify
an expression it means you should also rationalise it.

Question
Rationalise

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Answer
We need to get rid of the surds on the bottom of the fraction.
We can do this by multiplying top and bottom of the fraction

like this:

= = =

Simplifying surds

Question

Simplify

Answer

Question

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Simplify

Answer

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Symbols, solving inequalities and graphs 01/03/2011 20:19
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Maths
Symbols, solving inequalities and graphs
You need to have revised Solving equations before trying
this Revision Bite.

Symbols: greater than, less than, equal to


Inequalities are expressions which indicate when a variable is:

Greater than another


Greater than or equal to another
Less than another
Less than or equal to another
Symbols and their meaning

Symbol Meaning
< is less than, so 2 < 5 is a true statement.
> is more than, so 6 > 4 is a true statement.
is less than or equal to
so 2 5 is true
and so is 2 2.

is more than or equal to,


so 6 4 is true,
and so is 6 6.

Solving inequalities
An expression such as 3x - 7 < 8 is similar to the equation 3x - 7
= 8. However, this time we are looking for numbers which if you
multiply by 3, then subtract 7, you get an answer of less than 8.
Unlike 3x - 7 = 8, which has just one answer, there are lots of

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numbers for which this is true (in fact, an infinite number). So


our answer is not a number, but a range of numbers.
We solve these equations just like simple equations: what you
do to one side, you must do to the other.
Now have a look at this typical question:

Question
Solve the expression 3x - 7 < 8.

Answer
First, write down the expression:
3x - 7 < 8
Then add 7 to both sides, to cancel out the -7:
3x < 15
Next, simplify the expression by dividing both sides by the
number in front of x - in this case 3.
x<5
So the inequality in 3x - 7 < 8 is satisfied when x is less than
5. (Note that this does not include 5 itself.)

Sometimes the unknown appears on both sides, just as in


simple equations.
Now look at this question.

Solving double inequalities in equations


Sometimes you are given a 'double' inequality to solve. In this
case, you just do the same thing to all three parts .

Example
Solve:

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-4 < 2x - 6 < 12
Cancel out one of the numbers by adding or subtracting that
number in all three parts of the inequality. Here we can add
6 to all the parts.
2 < 2x < 18
Divide all three parts by the number in front of the x term.
Here we can divide all the parts by 2.
1<x<9

Question
Solve the inequality -4 < 2x - 6 < 12

Answer
Add 6 to all parts: 2 < 2x < 18
Divide all parts by 2: 1 < x < 9
So the inequality is satisfied when x is between 1 and 9 (not
including 1 and 9).

Now look at this question.

Inequalities and graphs


Number lines
Inequalities can also be shown on a number line.

Example
Solve 2 < 3x + 5 17, and show the solution on a number line.
2 < 3x + 5 17
-3 < 3x 12
-1 < x 4

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Regions on a graph
Another way to show inequalities is by shading regions on a
graph.
Example
On a graph, show the region where:-
x 1 and y 3.
Draw on the lines x = 1 and y = 3.
The possible values of x and y are shown by the area between
these two lines.

Now try a Test Bite

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Trial and improvement 01/03/2011 20:17
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Maths
Trial and improvement
If you are asked to solve an equation where there is no
exact answer, you might need to use trial and improvement.

Trial and improvement


If you are asked to give the solution to an equation to a given
number of decimal places (d.p.) or significant figures (s.f.), you
can be sure there is no exact solution. In this case, you might be
asked to solve it through a method of trial and improvement. The
question should indicate the degree of accuracy required (1 d.p.,
2 s.f. etc).
Have a look at the example below:
Example
An equation such as x³ + x = 50 does not have an exact
solution: the answer is a decimal number. Find the answer
correct to 1 decimal place.
Solution
We are looking for a number which, when you cube it and add
the number itself, you get the answer 50. One way to do this is
to use trial and improvement. Start with a guess, then keep on
guessing, trying to get closer to the right answer.
Set it out like this:
First guess: x = 3
3 × 3 × 3 + 3 = 27 + 3 = 30 - too small
Second guess x = 4
4 × 4 × 4 + 4 = 64 + 4 = 68 - too big
We now know that the answer lies between 3 and 4.
Third guess: x = 3.5

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3.5 × 3.5 × 3.5 + 3.5 = 42.875 + 3.5 = 46.375 - too small


We now know that the answer lies between 3.5 and 4.
Fourth guess x = 3.6
3.6 × 3.6 × 3.6 + 3.6 = 46.656 + 3.6 = 50.256 - too big
We now know that the answer lies between 3.5 and 3.6. But it
must be closer to 3.6, so the answer is x = 3.6 correct to 1
decimal place.
Have a go at this one. You will need to have a calculator handy.

Question
Solve the equation y² + 2y = 40, correct to 1 decimal place.

Answer
Here is a worked solution:
y² + 2y = 40
Let's start with y = 5:
5 × 5 + 2 × 5 = 25 + 10 = 35 - too small!
y = 6?
6 × 6 + 2 × 6 = 36 + 12 = 48 - too big!
So the answer lies between 5 and 6.
y = 5.5?
5.5 × 5.5 + 2 × 5.5 = 30.25 + 11 = 41.25 - too big!
y = 5.4?
5.4 × 5.4 + 2 × 5.4 = 29.16 + 10.8 = 39.96 - too small!
So the answer lies between 5.4 and 5.5, but must be closer to
5.4
y = 5.4 (1 d.p.)
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So y = 5.4

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BBC - GCSE Bitesize: More than one inequality 01/03/2011 20:19
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Home > Maths > Algebra > More than one inequality - Higher

Maths Print

More than one inequality - Higher

Make sure that you are familiar with Algebra / Solving equations before
trying this Revision Bite.

More than one inequality


Example
What values of s satisfy the inequalities -1 s < 6 and s > 0?
If -1 s < 6, then s = -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
If s > 0, then s = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7…
The only values of s that satisfy both of these inequalities are 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
So the solution is:
1 s 5
We can also see this on a number line:

Now try a Test Bite

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