If you are like me, the simple phrase, ‘find X’ quickly conjures the daunting chore of solving algebra homework questions to no avail. Like many students, I was a believer in the notion that algebra was a hard concept that was introduced in math to cause nightmares for students.

After taking intermediate algebra, however, I diagnosed my earlier challenges in algebra to have arisen from my poor mastery of algebraic concepts. Provided you are well versed with various algebra rules and the process of breaking algebra questions into words, you are set to ace all your algebra questions.

This article will highlight some elements and rules of algebra and the process for handling algebra questions to guide you along the process. Be keen to take tests to apply these concepts, therefore, improving your mastery of algebraic problems.

## Elements of algebra

The first step to learning algebra is to learn various elements so that you can easily understand the explanations you encounter when searching for homework answers for algebra. Often, you will come across terms such as variables, operators, exponents, coefficients, and constants.

Variable: a variable is a quantity that can change within the context of a math problem. This quantity can often be undefined in a word problem or expressed in form of a small letter in an algebraic equation.

e.g., Andrey bought some bananas and nine mangoes at \$3.65 while Jane bought six bananas and eight mangoes at \$6.5. How much will June spend if she buys seven bananas and six mangoes?

From this, we can form two equations to find out variables (the price of a banana and the price of a mango) I.e.,

6b + 9m = 3.65

6b + 8m = 6.5

Operator: This refers to the addition, multiplication, subtraction, or division symbol indicated within an algebraic expression.

Exponent: This refers to the number placed in superscript over another.

i.e., 6a = 0 in this case, a is our exponent.

Coefficient: A digit that is multiplied by a variable.

i.e., 9a+6b+7c

Here, 9,6, and 7 are our coefficients as our variables (a, b, and c) are multiplied by these digits.

Constant: a digit on its own

i.e., 9a+6b+7

Here, 7 is the constant as it does not change regardless of the values selected to represent variables a and b.

## Basic algebra rules

Another crucial thing to have at your fingertips for an easy time managing algebraic concepts is algebra rules. While there are many rules to manage, you could start by mastering the ones we will highlight below.

You may consider using a flashcard and doing a couple of exercises to better internalize the rules highlighted below.

1. Cumulative rule of addition: when adding two terms, the order in which you express the terms does not change the outcome of the equation and thus doesn’t matter.
e., a + b = b + a
2. Cumulative rule of multiplication: when you are multiplying two terms, the order in which you express these terms does not matter.
e., ab = ba
3. Associative rule of addition:when three or more terms are being added, the order of the values does not affect your final answer, and thus doesn’t matter.
e., a + (b + c) = (a + b) + c
4. Associative rule of multiplication:when you are multiplying three or more terms, the order in which you arrange the terms does not matter.
e., a (b x c) = c (a x b)
5. The multiplication value can be distributed across various terms within the brackets.
e., a (b + c) = ab + ac
6. Multiplying two powers with the same base is equal to that base raised to the sum of the two exponents. i.e., ab x ad = a bd. Any number raised to an exponent of zero is equal to one.
e., a0= 1

## How to tackle algebra questions

Another key aspect of handling your algebra assignments is to approach various word problems correctly. Our preferred approach to managing algebra questions includes the following steps:

• Define the variable

Before you start solving a problem, define all the unknowns and highlight the relationship between these unknowns.

• Write an equation with the variables

Having defined your variable, express the relationship highlighted in the word problem in form of an equation(s).