Simplifying Complex Equations

Combine Like Terms

Before you begin solving for a variable on a question on the GED math test, you might need to first simplify the equation by combining like terms. For example:

10n – 27 – 3n = 190

It will be much easier to solve for n once you combine the terms 10n and -3n. The way to do this is to subtract 3n from 10n, since it’s minus 3n.

Remove Parentheses

You will need to get rid of parentheses in order to solve for a variable. If a number or variable is next to parentheses as in the example below, you need to multiply that number or variable by everything in the parentheses.

3(2n – 4) = 36


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  • lateesha

    i love it

  • antwon

    great examples they help better then most books i read

  • Taninja

    I love it I’m not good in math but this site really helping me to understand.

  • Jairo

    Hi its e again 🙂 umm i was looking at an exmple that got me confused can you explina it it goes like this

    -4x +7x = -21

    i got it to -4x = -28 then i put -7. so x=-7, but the answere was 7 , cna you explain why it was 7not -7? 😀 thank you!

    • Ziyi


      You should combine the like terms first, -4x and 7x = 3x.
      3x = -21
      x = -7
      So you got the right answer. Must be a typo in the example you’re looking at.

      • Jairo

        didnt think about combining the like terms! 🙂 that makes it much simpler and easier thank you

  • Nicole

    your website is a big help i have been preping for my GED for awhile and ive been good on everything but math and now that i found your site im understanding better thank you so much hopefully soon i will have my GED 🙂

  • rj

    i get errthing up till how n = 8 ????

    • Erin R

      Because you have to simplify 48/6 6 will go into 6 once and 6 will go into 48 8 times which is 8/1 which is =8 🙂

  • Kekesosolo

    This site really helps… Thx

  • Shonta

    I love this thank u so much

  • Eric

    This website is a BIG HELP! . Thanks! 🙂

  • Ivonne

    This website has helped me tremendously.
    I suck at math, and so far i’m understanding everything on this site.
    Thanks to whoever made this website.

  • martez

    How did u get 31

  • Nakita Thompson

    Hello, I am also confused on how, u came up with 31
    . Like alot of other post I’ve read” i to have pass this math test” failed by 20 points. I will pass this time though.. Thanks for your help.

  • Chris

    Hi, question..How is 3(2n-4)=36? I know 3×2=6 and 3×4=12 but where does the 36 come from?

  • janel

    please explain the first section…combine like terms. Im confused havnt done much algebra

  • adam

    Yasaaaaaaaaaaaaay thks alot

  • novell

    ok im stuck on the first exsample how did you get 190. is it 10×10 and 3×30 wich the answer would give me 190 once i add them together?

  • jessi

    ok I have a problem that I just cant solve…can u help it’s

  • Martana

    I still don’t get it

  • Londyn

    What is a combined like term

  • Leah Douglas

    This is so much easier to understand!Thank you!

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