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Algebra In Action

Real life problems adapted from an old Mathematics textbook (A First Book in Algebra, by Wallace C. Boyden 1895) which can be solved using algebra and common sense!

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6 Description Help More Algebra

This is level 6: . You can earn a trophy if you get at least 9 questions correct and you do this activity online.

1. What number, being increased by 36, will be equal to ten times itself?

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2. Find the number whose double increased by 28 will equal six times the number itself.

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3. If John's age be multiplied by 5, and if 24 be added to the product, the sum will be seven times his age. What is his age?

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4. A father gave his son four times as many dollars as the son initially had, and his mother gave him $24, when he found that he had nine times as many dollars as at first. How many dollars did the son have at first?

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5. A man had a certain amount of money; he earned three times as much the next week and found £32. If he then had eight times as much as at first, how much did the man initially have?

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6. A man, being asked how many sheep he had, said "If you will give me 24 more than six times what I have now, I shall have ten times my present number." How many sheep had he?

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7. Divide the number 726 into two parts such that one shall be five times the other. How many will be in the larger part?

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8. Consider two numbers differing by 852, one of which is seven times the other. How much is the smaller number?

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9. A storekeeper received a certain amount the first month; the second month she received £50 less than three times as much, and the third month twice as much as the second month. In the three months she received £4850. What did she receive in the second month?

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10. James is 3 years older than William, and twice James's age is equal to three times William's age. What is the age of James?

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11. If I add 12 to a certain number, four times this second number will equal seven times the original number. What is the original number?

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12. A man bought 12 pairs of boots and 6 suits of clothes for £168. If a suit of clothes cost £2 less than four times as much as a pair of boots, what was the price of a pair of boots?

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This is Algebra In Action level 6. You can also try:
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5

Instructions

Try your best to answer the questions above. Type your answers into the boxes provided leaving no spaces. As you work through the exercise regularly click the "check" button. If you have any wrong answers, do your best to do corrections but if there is anything you don't understand, please ask your teacher for help.

When you have got all of the questions correct you may want to print out this page and paste it into your exercise book. If you keep your work in an ePortfolio you could take a screen shot of your answers and paste that into your Maths file.

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Featured Activity

Vinculum

Vinculum

This activity comprises of five challenges each one requiring you to type in one more fraction than the previous challenge and each starting with a different fraction. The starting fractions are one tenth, one quarter, one third, one half and four sevenths.

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Go Maths

Learning and understanding Mathematics, at every level, requires learner engagement. Mathematics is not a spectator sport. Sometimes traditional teaching fails to actively involve students. One way to address the problem is through the use of interactive activities and this web site provides many of those. The Go Maths page is an alphabetical list of free activities designed for students in Secondary/High school.

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Are you looking for something specific? An exercise to supplement the topic you are studying at school at the moment perhaps. Navigate using our Maths Map to find exercises, puzzles and Maths lesson starters grouped by topic.

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Transum,

Sunday, January 26, 2014

"These questions have been adapted from 'A First Book in Algebra' by Wallace Boyden. They all are designed to encourage an algebraic solution by setting up an equation (or alternatively simultaneous equations) and solving it. Some of the questions could be classified under the topic of ratio.
In his introduction Wallace Boyden states 'Algebra is so much like arithmetic that all that you know about addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, the signs that you have been using and the ways of working out problems, will be very useful to you in this study. There are two things the introduction of which really makes all the difference between arithmetic and algebra. One of these is the use of letters to represent numbers, and you will see in the following exercises that this change makes the solution of problems much easier.'."

I'm Not A Humanist But..., Planet Earth

Saturday, May 24, 2014

"On level 4 of the 'algebra in action' section, question 11 says:
"Divide the number 137 into three parts, such that the second is 3 more than the first, and the third five times the second. What is the third part?"
The answer is 100, but it was marked as being wrong, so I tried again, but with 20 (the second number) and 17 (the first number) and it marked 17 as being correct.
Just thought you should know about this mistake so that you can correct it.

[Transum: Thank you so much for taking the time to highlight this error. You were indeed right and the error has now been corrected. Thank you so much.]"

Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for those learning Mathematics anywhere in the world. Click here to enter your comments.

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Description of Levels

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Level 1 - Find two values given their ratio and either their sum or difference

Level 2 - Find one of three numbers given the connection between them

Level 3 - Find numbers whose sum and difference are given

Level 4 - Find numbers when given information about the sum or difference of their multiples

Level 5 - More questions similar to those in previous levels

Level 6 -

Answers to this exercise are available lower down this page when you are logged in to your Transum account. If you don’t yet have a Transum subscription one can be very quickly set up if you are a teacher, tutor or parent.

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Curriculum Reference

See the National Curriculum page for links to related online activities and resources.

Back in 1895 Mr Boyden wrote 'Algebra is so much like arithmetic that all that you know about addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, the signs that you have been using and the ways of working out problems, will be very useful to you in this study. There are two things the introduction of which really makes all the difference between arithmetic and algebra. One of these is the use of letters to represent numbers, and you will see in the following exercises that this change makes the solution of problems much easier'.

Example for level 6

What number added to twice itself and 40 more will make a sum equal to eight times the number?

Let \(x\) be the number
\(x + 2x + 40 = 8x\)
\(3x + 40 = 8x\)
\(40 = 5x\)
\(8 = x\)
The number is 8.

Don't wait until you have finished the exercise before you click on the 'Check' button. Click it often as you work through the questions to see if you are answering them correctly. You can double-click the 'Check' button to make it float at the bottom of your screen.

Answers to this exercise are available lower down this page when you are logged in to your Transum account. If you don’t yet have a Transum subscription one can be very quickly set up if you are a teacher, tutor or parent.

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