# How to solve simple algebraic equations

## Home learning focus

In this lesson you will learn how to solve algebraic equations.

This lesson includes:

- one video
- three activities

# Learn

An **equation** is a mathematical expression that contains an equals symbol. Algebra is used in Maths when we do not know the exact number in a calculation - this unknown value can be replaced with a letter.

Let's take a look at a question.

3 loaves of bread and a £4 pack of cheese costs £10. How can you work out the cost of 1 loaf of bread?

Watch this short video from BBC Bitesize to find out how to solve simple algebraic equations.

## Operations

An operation is a **mathematical process**. Common examples are addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (x) or division (÷).

An **inverse** operation is the **opposite** of the operation used in the equation.

+ is the opposite of –

– is the opposite of +

× is the opposite of ÷

÷ is the opposite of ×

## Solving an equation

When solving an equation it is important to find the value of one letter.

Let's solve the equation 3x + 4 = 10

To remove the + 4 complete the **inverse** (opposite) operation by subtracting the 4.

3x = 10 – 4

That gives us 3x = 6 (3 loaves cost £6)

To work out the cost of one loaf, divide both sides of the equation by 3.

x = 6 ÷ 3

So x = 2

One loaf costs £2

# Practise

## Activity 1

**Solve the equation**

## Activity 2

**Quiz**

Find out how much you know about how to solve a simple algebraic equation in this short quiz!

Click here for answers.

# There's more to learn...

Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.