Learning How to Solve for "x"

Solving for the missing variable is a very important aspect in calculations.

Frequently asked questions involve, "Should I add before I subtract?" or "Do I calculate what is in the parenthesis first?

 

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We will demonstrate how to solve for a missing variable with the use of orders of operations

What are the order of operations?

PEMDAS

The most common acronym used to explain the order of operations is PEMDAS which are the consecutive steps in order to utilize the order of operations.


Parenthesis (Please)

Used to specify group numbers within the Order of Operations i.e. ()

(A+B)=C

(2+2)=4



Exponents (Excuse)

An exponent refers to the number of times a number is multiplied by itself. 

Multiplication (My)

mathematical operation performed on a pair of numbers in order to derive a third number called a product. i.e.  "×"

A × B = C 

2 × 2 = 4


Division (Dear)

Division is splitting into equal parts or groups.  i.e.  "/"  "÷"

A/B = C           A÷B = C

4/2 = 2             4÷2 = 2

Addition (Aunt)

When two whole numbers is the total amount of those quantities combine. 

A+B=C

2+2=4

Subtraction (Sally)

Subtraction is a mathematical operation that represents the operation of removing objects from a collection. It is signified by the minus sign (−).  

A-B=C

4-2=2

Self-Check: What are the steps of Order of Operations

  • Step 1
    Parenthesis
  • Step 2
    Exponents
  • Step 3
    Multiplication
  • Step 4
    Division
  • Step 5
    Addition
  • Step 6
    Subtraction

Applying the Order of Operations

Please solve for the Missing Variable using the Order of Operations.

(4-3)X = (32÷2)÷4

Step 1.  X = (32÷2)÷4                  

Step 2.  X = ÷4                              

Step 3.  X =