Basic Math and Pre-Algebra All-in-One For Dummies
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In algebra, a letter such as x that takes the place of a number in one or more equations is called a variable. Practices you need to know about how algebra problems are written:

  • To add up many of the same variable, count the number of times that variable appears, and then attach that number (called a coefficient) to that variable:

  • x + x + x + x + x = 5x

  • To multiply many of the same variable, count how many times the variable appears, and then attach an exponent to that variable:

  • x · x · x · x = x4

  • Write division problems as fractions:

  • x ÷ 2 is written as x/2

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Mark Zegarelli is a math and test prep tutor and instructor. He is the author of Basic Math & Pre-Algebra For Dummies, SAT Math For Dummies, ACT Math For Dummies, Logic For Dummies, and Calculus II For Dummies.

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