WORD PROBLEMS
Algebra
Step 2.
Express the other unknowns in terms of x using the information
given in the problem.
Step 3.
Write an equation that says in symbols exactly what the problem
says in words.
Step 4.
Solve the equation.
Step 5.
Check the answer to see that it satisfies the
conditions stated in the problem.
Example 1:
What are the capacities of two water storage tanks in a nuclear facility if one holds 9
gallons less than three times the other, and their total capacity is 63 gallons?
Solution:
Step 1.
Let x = Capacity of the Smaller Tank
Step 2.
Then, 3x  9 = Capacity of the Larger Tank
Step 3.
Total Capacity = Capacity of the Smaller Tank + Capacity of the
Larger Tank
63 = x + (3x  9)
Step 4.
Solving for x:
x + (3x  9) = 63
4x  9 = 63
4x = 63 + 9
4x = 72
x = 18
MA02
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