GCSE Maths Revision: The Balance Method

4th April 2017

GCSE Maths Revision. Made Easy

Algebra - How to use the balance method


The balance method is a key method that you will have to be able to use to do well in your GCSE maths examinations. Whether your examination is with AQA, WJEC, Edexcel or any other examination board, the balance method is extremely useful when solving algebraic equations.

When solving an equation both sides of the equation have to be equal. In other words, the equation has to be evenly balanced. One of the most common methods used, to make sure this is the case, is the balance method.

One way to think of the balance method is like a set of scales which have to always be balanced and can never tilt. We can keep the equation balanced as long as we always apply the same operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication or division) to both sides.

Let's have a look at an example:

Solve 8x + 16 = 48

  • Firstly, we subtract 16 from both sides to get 8x = 32

  • Then we divide both sides by 8 to get x = 4

The answer is x = 4

This method is crucial to your revision and will be tested in your exams. You can learn about the balance method in our song, which will help you memorise this in preparation for the new GCSE Mathematics syllabus.


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