Jump to a New ChapterIntroduction to the SAT IIContent and Format of the SAT II Math IICStrategies for SAT II Math IICMath IIC FundamentalsAlgebraPlane GeometrySolid GeometryCoordinate GeometryTrigonometryFunctionsStatisticsMiscellaneous MathPractice Tests Are Your Best Friends
 5.1 Math IIC Algebra Strategies 5.2 Equation Solving 5.3 Writing Equations 5.4 Manipulating Equations 5.5 Systems of Equations

 5.6 Common Word Problems 5.7 Polynomials 5.8 Key Formulas 5.9 Review Questions 5.10 Explanations
Equation Solving
There are a number of algebraic terms you should know in order to be able to talk and think about algebra.
Variable:
an unknown quantity, written as a letter. x and y are the most commonly used letters for variables, but a variable can be represented by any letter in the English (or even Greek) alphabet. Variables allow you to describe general situations without specific numbers.
Constant:
a quantity that does not change. In other words, a number.
Term:
a constant or variable and its coefficient. In an algebraic equation, you’ll find that addition and subtraction signs often separate terms from one another. For example, in the equation:
the left side contains four terms {3x3, 2x2, –7x, 4} and the right side contains two terms {x, –1}.
Expression:
any combination of terms. An expression can be as simple as a single constant term, like 5. It can also be as complicated as the sum or difference of many terms, each of which is a combination of constants and variables, such as {(x2 + 2)3 – 6x} ⁄ 7x5. Expressions don’t include an “equals” sign, which is what differentiates expressions from equations. Expressions therefore cannot be solved; they can only be simplified.
Equation:
two expressions linked by an equal sign.
 Jump to a New ChapterIntroduction to the SAT IIContent and Format of the SAT II Math IICStrategies for SAT II Math IICMath IIC FundamentalsAlgebraPlane GeometrySolid GeometryCoordinate GeometryTrigonometryFunctionsStatisticsMiscellaneous MathPractice Tests Are Your Best Friends
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