            F ind what you are solving for. Look for the question mark. Underline the information that tells you what you are solving for. Name the variable (what you are solving for) with a letter and write it after the question mark. A sk yourself, "What is the important information?" Read each sentence. Find the number phrases and circle them. S et up the equation. Write the equation with the variables and the numbers in the correct order. Take the equation and solve it. Solve the equation and write the answer. If you can't solve the equation, then use "DRAW" to solve it. D iscover the variable and the operations. Scan the equation and look for operation signs (+, -, x, ÷). Circle the operation sign. R ead the equation and combine like terms. Read the whole equation out loud. Look for "like terms." For example, numbers that have the same letter next to them: 6a + 2a + 5 + 2 = 15. Both "6a" and "2a" are like terms. Also, numbers without letters next to them are like terms ("5" & "2"). Combine like terms. For example, "6a" and "2a" can be combined (6a + 2a = "8a"). Also, "5" and "2" can be combined (5 + 2 = "7"). 6a + 2a + 5 + 2 = 15 now becomes 8a + 7 = 15. A nswer the equation, or draw and check. See example of how to draw the solution. Write the answer for the variable and check the equation. Write the number that represents the answer. For example: a = 1 Substitute your answer for the letter in the original equation. For example: 6a + 2a + 5 + 2 = 15 6(1) + 2(1) + 5 + 2 = 15 Work the problem and see if the left side equals the right side. For example: 6(1) + 2(1) + 5 + 2 = 15 (6 x 1) + (2 x 1) + 5 + 2 = 15 6 + 2 + 5 + 2 = 15 15 = 15 Click here for an Example Print FASTDRAW for Algebra Strategy Back to Math Strategies Back to All Strategies                       