In middle school students encounter one – step and two step equations. In sixth grade they learn to solve one step equations by substituting in the correct number where the variable is to make the equation work. An example of this would be the equation x + 5 = 7. Students in 6th grade will learn that x would have to be 2 because it is the only number that works.

As they go on in school they learn an easier way. So what is this easier way? It’s very simple. Just complete the inverse operation to both sides of the equation to solve for the variable.

Here are some examples:

x + 5 = 9

To solve this you would subtract 5 from both sides of the equation. The reason why you subtract 5 from both sides is that 5 is added to x, so the inverse of addition is subtraction. Also remember what you do to one side of the equation you must do to the other side. So our solution is:

x = 4.

O.k., next problem:

x – 10 = 18. Now add 10 to both sides because 10 is being subtracted from x. When we do that we get:

x = 8.

Great! What about multiplication and division? Here are two more examples that will help with that:

4x = 16. To solve this divide both sides by 4 since 4 is multiplied by x. Doing that our solution becomes:

x = 4. O.k., now on to division:

x/10 = 2. To solve this one we need to multiply both sides by 10 because x is being divided by 10. Great! Our solution then becomes:

x = 20

So to sum it all up, for one-step equations just do the inverse operation to both sides and you will easily solve the problem! It’s as simple as that!

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