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Solving Systems of Equations by Graphing - Concept

Teacher/Instructor Alissa Fong
Alissa Fong

MA, Stanford University
Teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area

Alissa is currently a teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area and Brightstorm users love her clear, concise explanations of tough concepts

A system of equations is two or more equations that contain the same variables. Solving systems of equations by graphing is one method to find the point that is a solution to both (or all) original equations. Besides solving systems of equations by graphing, other methods of finding the solution to systems of equations include substitution, elimination and matrices.

A system of equations in your algebra one course is going to involve two different equations with two variables. One way to solve them or meaning to find the point that is a solution in both equations is to graph them and look for where the lines cross.
So what's going to happen in your homework is that you're going to be given two lines, you're going to have to graph them both and find where they cross that's what the problem is asking for.
Couple of things to keep in mind, first thing most people can graph most effectively if the lines are in y=mx+b form. You start at the y intercept graph the slope from there. For many people that's the easiest way to graph, but you could also use intercepts or making a table of values if you're not a good grapher. Another thing to keep in mind is that you're looking for the point were the lines cross so you have to be precise, if your teacher didn't tell you to use graph paper get graph paper anyway. Because when you're looking at your graph and you are trying to count over where the lines cross and if you only have like notebook paper you're not going to be very accurate. So please please please make sure you're using graph paper for these problems.
Along those same lines you have to use a ruler guys, there's no way around it. If you want to get the right answer you need your lines to be precise they have to be exactly exactly straight. If you can do all that stuff you're going to be in good shape for having to do problems where you're graphing systems of equations and finding the solution.

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