Algebra is a part of KS3 Maths which you'll need to understand. In this quiz you'll be looking at equations (a key part of algebra) with brackets. You'll have to work out the value of x (or other letters such as a or b) by moving around letters and figures. It serves as an introduction to equations and should help you to understand them.

The key to solving equations is to keep them balanced. Imagine an old-fashioned set of weight scales, with the equal sign being the pivot in the middle. If you remove something from one side the scales will tip, unless you also remove it from the other side. You are aiming to reduce everything so that the variable is on one side of the equal sign, and the numbers are on the other. That should allow you to find their values.

As you progress through the quiz, you get a chance to solve some equations - lucky you! Take your time and see if you can get all ten questions correct.

1.

3a + 6 + b = 3a + 5 is the same as which of the following?

b = 3a - 3a + 5 - 6

b = 3a + 3a + 5 - 6

b = 3a - 3a - 5 + 6

b = 3a - 3a + 5 + 6

The correct answer could be further simplified to b = -1

2.

If 5(x + 2) = -35, what is the value of x?

-5

-9

-10

10

5 x -7 = -35

3.

2x - 6 could be written as which of the following?

(x - 3)2

2(x - 3)

Either of the above

Neither of the above

Basically, 2x - 6 is the same as (x - 3) times 2

4.

If 4(x - 5) = 10, what is the value of x?

5

7.5

10

15

4x - 20 = 10 and therefore 4x = 30

5.

3 x a + 4 = 6 is the same as which of the following?

3 x a = 6 - 4

3 x a = 6 / 4

3 x a = 6 + 4

3 x a = 6 x 4

When the 4 crosses the equals sign it changes from + 4 to - 4

6.

5(a - 4) is the same as which of the following?

5a + 20

5a - 20

5a - 4

5a4

Removing brackets this way is referred to as 'expanding the brackets'. In this case the 5 outside of the brackets must be multiplied by BOTH the a and the - 4 that are inside the brackets

7.

3b - 16 + b = 1 is the same as which of the following?

4b = 1 - 16

4b = 1 / 16

4b = 1 + 16

4b = 1 x 16

When - 16 crosses the equals sign it changes to + 16

8.

If 6a - 5 = 20, which of the following is incorrect?

6a = 25

a = 25 / 6

a = 4^{1}⁄_{6}

a = 4.25

You will often find that you have a term such as 6a and you need to separate the 6 from the a in order to determine the value of a

9.

Look at the following equation and choose the correct answer when the brackets have been expanded: 4(a + 3) = 5(b - 8)

4a - 12 = 5b - 40

4a - 12 = 5b + 40

4a + 12 = 5b - 40

4a + 12 = 5b + 40

We're multiplying the values in brackets by the numbers in front of them

10.

If 16(a + 7) = 128, what is the value of a?

1

2

3

4

16a + 112 = 128 and therefore 16a = 16