Algebra Review Problems

The following problems are provided as examples of algebra ideas you should know before starting
MAT 111. A list of resources to assist you with your review is also included below.

Math Placement Test Information: www.uncwil.edu/mathlab
Suggested reference books: The following books are on reserve in The Math Lab.
Algebra Review by Sullivan, et.al.
Intermediate Algebra by Lial, et.al. (MAT 100 textbook)
Many other books are available in The Math Lab for reference. All books must be used in
The Math Lab.
Computer software, Interactive Math: This is a complete course in Intermediate Algebra. Software
is available on Math Lab computers. See the receptionist to use.
Web resources: The following links may also be helpful in your algebra review.
http://www.sosmath.com
http://www.purplemath.com/internet.htm
http://www.mathnotes.com (Must download free plug-in before using; directions at the
website. Choose one of the algebra textbooks on home page to begin.)
Video tapes: A set of algebra review tapes is on reserve at Randall Library. There are
several tapes each covering different topics. They are keyed to the MAT 100 text.
Math Lab tutoring: You may use the drop-in tutoring in The Math Lab as needed.
One-on-one tutoring appointments are limited to 1 hour per week for the purpose
of reviewing for the math placement test.

A. Understand definition of sets of numbers
Let S =
)
`
¹
¹

− − −
5
7
, 6 , 17 , 13 , 8 , 5 , 0 ,
9
27
, 91 . 0
´
¦
List any elements of S that are members of the following
sets:
1. Integers 2. Rational numbers 3. Irrational numbers 4. Real numbers

B. Evaluate expressions using the correct order of operations: parentheses, powers and
roots, multiplication and division (left to right), addition and subtraction (left to right).

5. 1−91 + 5
3
− 1−121 − (−7 + 4) 6. −13 − |−2|− 9 − −7
7. 3(−7) + (−9) (5) − (−4) + 6(−1)
9
8.
2
2
5
4
3


C. Simplifying expressions using the Exponent Rules: Here are some to get you started.
(i) (ii) x x x
a b a
• =
+b b a
b
a
x
x
x

= (iii) ( ) (iv) x x x
a b ab
=
0
1 = (v) x
x
a
a

=
1
Simplify by performing the operations; leave only positive exponents in the answer.
9.
( )
x y
x
8 2
3
2
10.
( )
2
2
3
2
3
x y
xy
11. 12.
( )
5
3
a °
( ) ( )
( )
2 4
3 7
4
3
5
4 6
p
p p
− p
13.
4
7
2
\
|
.
|

|

14.
3
3
2
3




D. Perform operations with polynomials.

15. 4x
2
(x
3
– x + 1) 16. (4m
3
+ 6m
2
−7m) − (9m
3
+3m − 5) 17. (2k −5)
2



18. (3p + 4) (4p − 5) 19. (x – y)
3
20. (10y
4
+5y
2
– 20y) ÷ 5y



E. Factor polynomials completely: Look for greatest common factor first! Be sure to review
difference of squares (x
2
– y
2
), sum of cubes (x
3
+ y
3
), difference of cubes (x
3
− y
3
), and
factoring by grouping (use when there are 4 or more terms in the polynomial).

Factor the following expressions completely:
21. 9x + x
3
22. 12y
2
+8y − 15 23. 4z
3
− 13z
2
− 12z 24. 64a
2
− 81b
4


25. 125c
3
− d
3
26. 25x
2
+ 60xy + 36y
2
27. 3x
4
− 3y
4



28. 2xa
2
–2xb
2
– 3ya
2
+3yb
2




F. Perform operations with rational expressions.

Perform the indicated operations; Simplify answers.
29.
8
5
15 2
25
2
2
+

÷
− +

x
x
x x
x
30.
3
7
5
4


+ k k
31.
p p p p 5
3
2
6
2 2
+




32.
3 1
2
5
4
1
x
x x
+

33.
1
1
2
2
x
x


1
x



G. Solve first degree equations and inequalities.

Solve the following equations.
34. 6 − (2+3a) + 4a = −3(a − 2) − 4 35.
5
3 2
4
x x
− =
36.
1
2
3
3
2 x
x
x +
+ =



Solve the following inequalities and graph the solution on the real number line.
37. 3m − 8 ≤ 5m + 2 38. 3 – 7x > 11 39. –4 ≤ 3x+1 < 10


H. Solve absolute value equations and inequalities.
Solve the absolute value equations.
40. 3x + 7 = 5 41. 4p − 5 = 19
Solve the absolute value inequalities and graph the solution on the number line.
42. 2k + 9 ≤ 5 43. 3m + 1 > 7 44.
3
8
5
7
8
0 − − < x

I. Perform operations with radical expressions; simplify radicals. The following properties
will be helpful.
(i) x y x
n
n n
• = y (ii)
x
y
x
y
n
n
n
= (iii) x x
n
=
1
n
(iv) x x
m n
m
n
=
Perform the operations; simplify each radical expression; write answer in radical form.
45. 6 46. 128 3 8 − x y w
5 3 6
3
47.
3 2 4 5
3
xy x y •
48.
x y
xy
6 4
2

49. Rationalize the denominator: (a)
2
3
(b)
7
4 9 −
(c)
1
x y +

50. Use exponent rules along with properties of radicals (iii) and (iv) to simplify the following
expressions. Leave only positive exponents in your answers.

(a) ( (b) ) a b
4 9
2
3
( ) (c) 16
2
1
3
3
4
x y
3
2
9
8
27
|
|
.
|

\
|

x


J. Perform operations with complex numbers. Note: − = 1 i so i
2
= − 1. The standard form
of a complex number is a + bi
.
Perform the operations; write answers in standard form for a complex number.
51. (2 – 3i) − ( 6 + 8i) 52. (3 + i) (3 − 2i) 53.
2
4
+

i
i
54. i
15


K. Solve quadratic equations, ax
2
+ bx + c = 0. Use factoring or the Quadratic Formula.
Memorize the Quadratic Formula: x
b b a
a
=
− ± −
2
4
2
c


55. Solve.
(a) (x + 3)(2x + 1) = 3 (b) 8y
2
+ 11y − 10 = 0 (c) a
2
+ a = 20 (d)
x
x x +
=

+
3
3
1
2


I. Find slope and equations of lines. You must know the slope formula and forms of equations of
lines.
slope of line through 2 points = m =
y y
x x
2 1
2 1


Equations of lines: y – y
1
= m(x – x
1
) or y = mx + b

56. Find the slope of the line through (6, 0) and (−9, 10)
57. Find the equation of the line through (−1, 3) and (5, −1). Write answer in slope - intercept form.

58. Find the equation of the line through (2, 1) and parallel to the line whose equation is
2x − y = 5.


M. Find x – and y-intercepts; graph equations.

Find the coordinates of the x- and y-intercepts, if any. Sketch the graph of each equation.

59. 3x − 2y = 6 60. x + 3 = 0 61. y – 4 = 0 62. y = 2x
2
+5x – 3


N. Use the Distance Formula and Pythagorean Relationship to solve problems. Formulas to know:
The distance between 2 points is given by: d x x y y = − + − ( ) (
1 2
2
1 2
2
)
The Pythagorean Relationship states: a
2
+ b
2
= c
2
where “a” and “b” are the legs of a right triangle
and “c” is the hypotenuse.

63. Find the length of the line segment connecting the points (1, −4) and (5, 3).

64. John and Carrie left from school and drove in different directions. Carrie drove 80 miles due east
and stopped; John drove 150 miles due north. How far apart are they when they stopped?


O. Solve systems of equations.

65. 3x − 2y = −22 66. x – 3y = 5
4x + 5y = 32 2x – 1 = 6y


P. Understand basic function notation and evaluate functions.
67. If f (x) = x
2
– 2x + 5 , g(x) =
x
1
and h(x) = 2 − x , find:
(a) f (
3
1
) (b) g (h(x)) (c) (h – g )(27) (d) f (t + 1)



Answers to Algebra Review Problems

1.
)
`
¹
¹
´
¦
−6 , 8 ,
9
27
, 0 2.
)
`
¹
¹
´
¦
− −
5
7
, 6 , 8 ,
9
27
, 0 , 91 . 0 3. { } 17 , 5 − 4.
)
`
¹
¹
´
¦
− − −
5
7
, 6 , 17 , 8 ,
9
27
, 5 , 0 , 91 . 0
5. 125 6. − 31 7. − 68 8.
5
6
9. x
2
y
2
10.
4
2
x
y

11. 1 12.
21
32
7
p −
13.
49
16
14.
1
3
1
243
5
or 15. x x x 4 4 4
2 5
+ −
16. 17. 18. 12 19. 5 10 6 5
2 3
+ − + − m m m 25 20 4
2
+ − k k 20
2
− + p p
3 2 2 3
3 3 y xy y x x − + −

20. 21. x 22. (6y – 5)(2y + 3) 23. z(4x +3)(z – 4 ) 4 2
3
− + y y ) 9 (
2
x +

24. ( 25. 26. ) 9 8 )( 9 8
2 2
b a b a − + ) 5 25 )( 5 (
2 2
d cd c d c + + − ( )
2
6 5 y x +

27. 28. (a + b) ( a – b )(2x – 3y ) 29. ) )( )( ( 3
2 2
y x y x y x − + +
3
8

+
x
x
30.
( )( ) 3 5
47 3
− +
− −
k k
k

31.
( )
( )( )
3 12
2 5
p
p p p
+
− +
32. 12 2 + x 33.
( )
1
1
2
+
+ −
x
x x x
34.
2
1
− = a 35.
7
24
= x

36.
5
14 −
= x 37. 5 − ≥ m 38.
7
8 −
< x


7

5 −
39. 3
3
5
< ≤

x 40.
)
`
¹
¹
− − 4 ,
3
2
´
¦
41. { } 6 , 6 −

42. −7 −2 43. 2 7 − ≤ ≤ − x
3
8
− < x or x > 2

44.
4
1
10
1
< <

x 45. 2 42 46.
3 2 2
x xyw
2
3
5 −
3
8 −
3
8

10
1 −
4
1
47. 10 12
2
y x 48. x y x
2
49. (a)
3
3 2
(b) 1 − (c)
y x
y x




50. (a)
6
3
8
b a (b)
4
1
2
3
y x 8 (c)
4
9
6
x
51. –4 – 11i 52. 11- 3i 53. i
17
6
17
7
+
54. − i 55. (a) 0 ,
2
7
− = x (b) 2 ,
8
5
− = y (c) a = −5, 4 (d) 13 4 ± − = x

56.
3
2 −
57.
3
7
3
2
+

= x y 58. 2x – y = 3
59. x-intercept: (2, 0) 60. x-intercept: (−3, 0) 61. x-intercept: none
y-intercept: (0, −3) y-intercept: none y-intercept: (0, 4)


y
y


4
y





2
x
-3
x x

-3





62. x-intercepts: (−3, 0) and ( ½ , 0) 63. 65 64. 170 miles 65. x = −2; y = 8

y-intercept: (0, −3)

y



- 3 ½ x


-3






66. No Solution 67. (a)
9
40
(b)
2
1
− x
(c)
27
134
(d) 4
2
+ t