## Algebra

Algebra is essentially basic math (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) that also uses letters of the alphabet to represent certain unknown values, called variables. You probably already know most of the operation symbols you will need to know to answer the algebra questions on the GED math test, such as + – x and ÷. The only additional symbols you will need to know pertain to multiplication and division.

2  · a

2(a)

2a

All of the above mean the same thing: 2 times a.

You might run into the term coefficient. This is the number next to a variable, the 2 in 2a above, and it just means a number you multiply a variable by. If there is a variable without a number next to it, then the coefficient is understood to be 1.

a = 1a

For division you might see ÷, as in 2 ÷ a (2 divided by a) or a division step might be represented as a fraction:

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