To do two-step equations with integers, simplify the whole numbers in the equation. Isolate x in the equation by adding or subtracting the opposite whole number to both sides of the equation. Divide both sides by the number next to x in the equation to solve for x.
- Identify the elements in a two-step equation
In a typical two-step equation, y = mx + b can be used, where y, m and b are provided and you must solve for x. An example equation that follows this pattern is 20 = 6x - 4.
- Simplify the whole numbers
Isolate x by adding or subtracting the opposite of b to both sides of the equation. Using the previous example, add four to both sides of the equation, which results in 24 = 6x.
- Solve for x
Divide both sides of the equation by m. The result is the solution to a two-step equation with integers. With the example, the resulting value is 4.
- Check your work
Plug the value obtained from step 3 back into the original equation. Both sides of the equation should represent equal values. Using the example, the completed equation is 20 = 6(4) - 4. This confirms that the equation is solved correctly.