An Easy Way to Solve Linear Equations
- 1). Isolate the variable (a letter that represents a value) by keeping it on one side of the equals sign and moving any other terms to the other side. For instance, if you have 4 + 2x = 10, you would keep 2x on the left side of the equal sign and move the four to the other side.
- 2). Change the sign of any terms that you move across the equal sign. Therefore, negative terms would become positive, and positive terms would become negative. In this example, the 4 would change signs, so that you would have 2x = -4 + 10.
- 3). Divide by a number that will fit evenly into all terms if possible. In this instance, you could divide the whole equation by 2, so that you would have x = -2 + 5.
- 4). Perform any mathematical operations within the equation. In this example, you would add -2 and 5 to get 3. Therefore, x would equal 3.
- 5). Isolate one variable at a time in an expression that contains multiple variables. For instance, if you have 3y + 6x = 12, you could isolate the y term by restating the equation as: 3y = -6x + 12. To simplify, you would divide the entire equation by 3 to get y = - 2x + 4. To isolate the x term, restate the equation as 6x = -3y + 12. This can be reduced to x = -1/2x + 2.