# Ch 11: CBEST Math: Basic Algebra

### About This Chapter

## CBEST Math: Basic Algebra Chapter Summary

What is a variable? And how do you write a linear equation? If you're preparing for the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST), and you don't know the answers to these basic algebra questions, you might need a refresher. Through a series of video lessons, we answer both of these queries and more. Concepts covered in this chapter include the following:

- Expressing relationships as algebraic expressions
- Evaluating simple algebraic expressions
- The commutative and associative properties and algebraic expressions
- The distributive property and algebraic expressions
- Combining like terms in algebraic expressions
- Negative signs and simplifying algebraic expressions
- Problem solving using linear equations

### Objectives of the CBEST Math: Basic Algebra Chapter

The California Basic Educational Skills Test is a credentialing exam for future public school teachers in California and Oregon. The test addresses reading and writing and also features a 50-question math section. Most of the math problems are presented as word problems, and all are multiple-choice. Approximately 70% of the test measures your skill in computation, problem solving and numerical and graphic relationships, while the remainder focuses on estimation, measurement and statistics.

The basic algebra lessons found here include video presentations and self-assessments that allow you to test your skills. You're welcome to take these assessments and watch these videos as many times as you need to boost your knowledge of algebra.

### 1. What is a Variable in Algebra?

Did you ever encounter something like a + b = c and wonder how all these letters snuck into a math problem? In this lesson, we'll learn about variables, as well as other parts of equations, constants and coefficients.

### 2. Expressing Relationships as Algebraic Expressions

What do you do when you don't know what a number is but you do know how it relates to something else? You use an algebraic expression. In this lesson, we'll learn how to express relationships as algebraic expressions.

### 3. Evaluating Simple Algebraic Expressions

In this lesson, we'll learn how to evaluate algebraic expressions, which involves substituting numbers for variables and following the order of operations. By the end of the lesson, you'll be an algebraic expression expert.

### 4. The Commutative and Associative Properties and Algebraic Expressions

The order of operations is important and useful, but a few mathematical properties highlight cases where order doesn't matter. In this lesson, we'll learn about the commutative and associative properties, which may save you time and effort.

### 5. The Distributive Property and Algebraic Expressions

The order of operations is great. But sometimes we need to bend the rules to simplify an equation. Fortunately, the distributive property gives us a scenario in which this is okay. Learn all about it in this lesson.

### 6. Combining Like Terms in Algebraic Expressions

When you have an algebraic expression that's much too long, it would be great if you could simplify it. That's when knowing how to combine like terms comes in. In this lesson, we'll learn the process of combining like terms and practice simplifying expressions.

### 7. Practice Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

In this lesson, we'll practice simplifying a variety of algebraic expressions. We'll use two key concepts, combining like terms and the distributive property, to help us simplify.

### 8. What is a Linear Equation?

Most cars won't be able to run for more than 250,000 miles, so how much longer will your car live? Linear Equations are the most basic kind of algebraic function and can help you answer questions exactly like this. Learn about what they look like, how they come up in your life and why they are powerful tools.

### 9. How to Write a Linear Equation

Simply knowing how to take a linear equation and graph it is only half of the battle. You should also be able to come up with the equation if you're given the right information.

### 10. Negative Signs and Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

Don't let negative signs get you down. In this lesson, we'll stay positive as we practice simplifying algebraic expressions that have those tricky negative signs.

### 11. Problem solving using Linear Equations

From sale prices to trip distances, many real life problems can be solved using linear equations. In this lesson, we'll practice translating word problems into linear equations, then solving the problems.

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### Other Chapters

Other chapters within the CBEST Test Prep: Practice & Study Guide course

- About the CBEST Test
- CBEST Reading: Comprehension
- CBEST Reading: Vocabulary & Language
- CBEST Reading: Critical Analysis
- CBEST Reading: Evaluating Arguments
- CBEST Writing: Conventions of English
- CBEST Writing: Developing Ideas
- CBEST Writing: Focused Writing
- CBEST Writing: Write with Clarity
- CBEST Math: Arithmetic
- CBEST Math: Numerical Relationships
- CBEST Math: Graphical Relationships
- CBEST Test Prep Flashcards