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Teachers & SchoolsCAHSEE Math Mathematical Reasoning: Drill Set 1, Problem 2. Which of the following should be the most appropriate first step in solving the equation?

Algebra | Word Problems |

CAHSEE Math | Mathematical Reasoning |

Language | English Language |

Mathematical Reasoning | Analyzing problems |

Mathematics and Statistics Assessment | Word Problems and Applications |

There are lots of ways to approach it,

so it’s tough to have a hard-wired MOST appropriate way to tackle.

However, in this case, the BEST answer is probably getting rid of the fraction…

…because they are just a pain to deal with, especially if we don’t have a laptop at our disposal.

So intuitively multiplying both sides by 9

would make sense as a first step and it’d simplify the world a whole lot.

But let’s check out the other potential answers here.

A – divide both sides by 2 – eih – that doesn’t really help us all that much.

B – adding 17 to both sides really just confuses the issue – we can’t just add

17 to the left side and make the negative 17 go away.

That was kind of a curveball trick question. Thank you very much, test makers.

And C – DIVIDING by 9 doesn’t help us at all – we’re then stuck with denominators

of 81 on the left and a seven-ninths on the right. Blech. Ugly.

So… ok, D it is.

As in… “Denominators are pains in the butt.”