One-step equation

A one-step equation is an equation that can be solved in one step. The difference between a one-step equation and a two-step equation is one step equation contains an unknown variable whose value can be found in one step while two step equation, involves more than one operation on the variable.

In one step equation, we isolated the variable by either (1) adding or subtracting a constant or (2) multiplying or dividing by the divisor or factor associated with the variable.

Solving two step equations:

Consider the equation 2x + 4 = 6 and we have to find the value of the variable say x. The terms associated with x are 2 and +4. The one-step equation says we need to perform an inverse operation on the equation to find its value. So you need to perform the operations -4 and divide by 2 on the equation.

How to decide which operation to perform first?

One step equation - hackonmath
  1. Perform the operation that is far from variable ‘x’ which is +4 here
  2. And whatever operation you perform on the left side of the equation, perform the same on the right side.

So let’s perform the operation opposite to +4

therefore, 2x + 4 – 4 = 6 – 4

2x = 2

Now dividing both sides by 2

2x/2 = 2/2

Hence, x = 1

what happens if you perform division first?

2x + 4 = 6

Dividing both sides by 2,

(2x + 4 )/ 2 = 6 / 2

which becomes 2(x + 2) / 2 = 3 ——– taking 2 common outside

In case there was nothing in common you would have ended up doing (2x/ 2 + 4/2) = 6/2 which is the same as the original example. The difference is only in the way of execution. You can find more examples on the order of equations here

therefore, x + 2 = 3

and now performing opposite operation on +2 becomes,

x + 2 – 2 = 3 -2

x = 1


No matter what operation you choose first, the equation has to be executed correctly. If we try to get rid of the variables that are not tied to the variable first, problem-solving becomes easier

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