Solving equations with a variable on one side

Pre-Algebra Tutorial

Solving equations with a variable on one side


The problem will require the learner to solve an equation with a variable on one side of the equals sign.

Sample Problem

Solve the following:
3x + 5 = 29


Begin by isolating the variable x.
You will want to move the 5 to the right hand side of the equal sign by writing the opposite of what you see (do this on both sides of the equal sign)

3x + 5 = 29
-5 -5

By writing a -5 on the left hand side of the equal sign the 5 cancels out. Now look at the right hand side. 29 – 5 = 24

Your new equation should look like the following:
3x = 24

You still want to isolate the variable x
Since algebra is a bunch of opposites and the new equation reads 3 times x = 24 the opposite of multiplying is dividing so you will now divide both sides of the equal sign by 3

3x = 24

3x/3 = 24/3

x = 8

Your answer is x is equal to 8

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