(MK) – Order of Operation


What is a simple equation?

A simple equation can be described as an algebraic probem that gives you all the factors and is only looking for one missing factor or need to isolate a single missing factor to solve the problem.They can be written as word problems or simply presented as a mathematical equation.

Examples of this could be:

If x = 10 * 10 +2  then solve for x.

If 100 = 2x + 10  then what is x?

If 2x = 160 + 20 then find x.


The method of solving a simple equations is by attempting to isolate the missing factor.  The above examples asked you to find the missing factor X. So lets go through the examples of how to isolate the X in the examples above:


x = 10 * 10 + 2

This one should be easy to figure out, since the x is already isolated on the left side of the equation. So then just solve the right side by following the Order of Operation. (10*10) then + 2. This works out that x = 100 + 2 or x = 102.


100 = 2x +10

First thing you want to do is to get rid of any factors that don’t include the x. There is a +10, so lets subtract 10 from both sides:

100 (-10) = 2x + 25 (-10)

90 = 2x

Now we need to further isolate the x from the 2x. (Reminder that 2x is same as 2*x).

In order to remove the 2, we divide both sides by 2:

90/2 = 2x(/2)

45 = x

There is the solution, we did it simply by adding/subtracting/multiplying/dividing the same thing on each side to cancel out everything except the missing factor. In the end the only left will be the answer we are looking for, in the above problem x=45.


2x = 160 + 20

This problem is a combination of the first two examples. So lets start with the easy part first by completely the right side of the equation:

2x = 160 +20

2x = 180

Now just need to isolate the x from the 2x on the left side. So same as before divide both sides of the equation by 2 in order to isolate x:

2x(/2) = 180/2

x = 90



Solving simple equations is a basic skill that you need to master in order to go further into solving more complex equations and also word problems that require basic algebra. If you are still stuck on how to solve simple equations, please watch the videos below for more examples on how to solve them and as always comment on any questions/suggestions you have!



  • Goal is to isolate the unknown factor
  • Be sure to follow Order of Operation
  • Whatever operation you do to one side, ALWAYS do to both sides of equation!


If you have any questions please comment and good luck on your studying for the ASVAB exam!


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