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The letter *n* (usually in italics) is often used in algebra to indicate the position of a term in a sequence. This can be a little difficult to grasp but work through this Math quiz (and read the helpful comments!) and you will soon get the idea.

1.

What is the next number in this sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8?

12

13

14

15

This is known as the Fibonacci sequence. To find each number you add together the two previous numbers. After 13 comes 21 (8 + 13) and then comes 34 (21 + 13)

2.

What is the next number in this sequence: 1, 8, 27?

35

36

54

64

These are known as cube numbers. The 1^{st} number in the sequence is 1 x 1 x 1; the 2^{nd} number is 2 x 2 x 2; the 3^{rd} number is 3 x 3 x 3 and the 4^{th} number will be 4 x 4 x 4

3.

The *n*th term of a sequence is given by 3n + 1. What is the numeric value of the 3^{rd} term?

4

6

8

10

The answer can be found as follows: (3 x 3) + 1

4.

The *n*th term of a sequence is given by 3n + 1. What is the numeric value of the 1^{st} term?

3

4

6

9

In the 1^{st} term the value of n will be 1 and therefore the answer can be found as follows: (3 x 1) + 1

5.

What is the *n*th term of the sequence 6, 11, 16, 21?

5n

5n + 1

5n + 5

n + 5

(5 x n) + 1

6.

The *n*th term of a sequence is given by 3n + 1. What is the numeric value of the 8^{th} term?

12

13

25

50

We are told that we need the 8^{th} term. We put an 8 where the n is and then work it out: (3 x 8) + 1

7.

The *n*th term of a sequence is (2n)^{2} + 1. What is the the numeric value of the 3^{rd} term?

33

35

37

39

(2 x 3)^{2} + 1

8.

What is the next number in this sequence: 1, 4, 9, 16?

18

20

22

25

These are known as square numbers. The 1^{st} number in the sequence is 1 x 1; the 2^{nd} number is 2 x 2; the 3^{rd} number is 3 x 3 etc.

9.

The *n*th term of a sequence is (n + 1)^{2}. What is the the numeric value of the 4^{th} term?

20

25

30

35

(4 + 1)^{2}

10.

The *n*th term of a sequence is given by 14n - 6. What is the numeric value of the 2^{nd} term?

8

20

22

24

(14 x 2) - 6