To use a technique to solve simple equations systematically.



Picture a scale in balance. If you add 5 lbs to one side you must also add 5 lbs to the other side in order for it to stay balanced. Likewise, if you subtract 3 lbs from one side you must subtract 3 lbs from the other side to keep the balance. The same thing is true for equations.


  1. Simplify each side of the equation (if needed).
  2. Locate the term with the variable and circle it.
  3. Isolate the variable by using an inverse operation (do the opposite). Or if it has a fractional coefficient, multiply by the reciprocal.
    • Remember, what you do to one side, do it to the other - WYDTOS, DITTO.
  4. Simplify and circle your answer.


Solve each problem:

Ex 1

Ex 2

Ex 3

Ex 4

Ex 5

Ex 6

Ex 7

Ex 8

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This page was last updated on 08/09/13.