Simultaneous Equations Worksheets | Questions and Revision | MME

Simultaneous Equations Questions, Revision and Worksheets

Level 4-5
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Simultaneous Equations 

Simultaneous equations are multiple equations that share the same variables and which are all true at the same time.

When an equation has 2 variables its much harder to solve, however, if you have 2 equations both with 2 variables, like

2x+y=10\,\,\,\text{ and }\,\,\,x+y=4

then there is a solution for us to find that works for both equations. These equations are called simultaneous for this reason. 

There are 2 main types of equation you need to be able to solve.

Make sure you are happy with the following topics before continuing.

Type 1: Linear Simultaneous equations. 

To do this, we’ll use a process called elimination – we’re going to eliminate one of the variables by subtracting one equation from the other. We will write one equation on top of the other and draw a line underneath, as with normal subtraction.

Example: Find the solution to the following simultaneous equations.

4x + 3y = 14 \,\,\,\,,\ 5x+7y=11  

Step 1: Write one equation above the other.

Both equations need to be in the form ax+by=c, so rearrange if needed. 

\begin{aligned}4x + 3y &= 14 \\ 5x+7y &= 11 \end{aligned} 

Step 2: Get the coefficients to match

The coefficients are the numbers before x and y, make the x coefficients the same by scaling up both equations

(\times5) \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,4x + 3y = 14\,\,\, gives \,\,\, 20x + 15y = 70

\,\, (\times4)\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\, 5x+7y = 11 \,\,\, gives \,\,\, 20x+28y=44 

Step 3: Add or subtract the equations to eliminate terms with equal coefficients. 

As both equations are +20x we must subtract the equations.

\begin{aligned}20x + 15y &= 70 \\ (-)\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\, 20x+28y&=44 \\ \hline-13y&=26\end{aligned}

Step 4: Solve the resulting equation

\begin{aligned}(\div-13)\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,-13y&=26 \\ y &=-2\end{aligned} 

Step 5: Substitute the answer into the simplest of the two equations to find the other variable.

\begin{aligned}4x + 3y &= 14 \\ 4x +3(-2) &=14 \\ 4x -6 &= 14 \\ 4x &= 20 \\ x &= 5\end{aligned}

This gives the final answer to be;

x = 5, \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\, y = -2

Level 4-5

Type 2: Non-linear Simultaneous Equations

Because one of these equations is quadratic (Non-linear), we can’t use elimination like before. Instead, we have to use substitution.

Example: Solve the following simultaneous equations.

x^2+2y=9,\,\,\,\,y-x=3

Step 1: Rearrange the linear equation to get one of the unknowns on its own and on one side of the equals sign. 

\begin{aligned}(+x)\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,y-x&=3 \\ y &= x+3\end{aligned}

Step 2: Substitute the linear equation into the non-linear. 

 We know y=x+3 so we can replace the y in the first equation with x+3:

\begin{aligned} x^2+2y&=9 \\ x^2+2(x+3)&=9\end{aligned}

Step 3: Expand and solve the new quadratic formed. 

\begin{aligned}x^2+2(x+3)&=9 \\ x^2 + 2x+6 &= 9 \\ x^2+2x-3&=0 \\ (x-1)(x+3)&=0\end{aligned}

x=1 \,\,\, and \,\,\,x=-3.

Step 4: Substitute both values back into the simplest equation to find both versions of the other variable. 

\text{When }x=1, \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\, y=1+3=4,

\text{When }x=-3, \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\, y=-3+3=0.

Thus, we have two solution pairs:

x=1, y=4, and x=-3, y=0.

Level 8-9

Example: Applied Simultaneous Equation Question

A store sells milkshakes and ice creams.

2 milkshakes and 2 ice creams, costs £7

4 milkshakes and 3 ice creams, costs £12

Work out the cost of an individual milkshake and an individual ice cream.

[4 marks]

Step 1: we need to do is form the two simultaneous equations. 

Let’s say that the price of a milkshake is a, and the price of an ice cream is b.

This creates the following two equations. 

2a+2b=7

4a+3b=12

Step 2: Now we must get the coefficients to match, in this case we can multiply the first equation by 2

(\times 2) \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\, 2a+2b=7 \,\,\, \text{Gives} \,\,\, 4a + 4b = 14

Step 3: Subtract the equations to eliminate terms with equal coefficient. 

\begin{aligned}4a + 4b &= 14 \\ (-)\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\, 4a+3b&=12 \\ \hline b&=2\end{aligned}

Step 4: Substitute the answer into the simplest of the two equations to find the other variable.

\begin{aligned}2a+2b&=7 \\ 2a + 2(2) &=7 \\ 2a+4&=7 \\ 2a &=3 \\ a& = 1.5\end{aligned} 

This gives the final answer to be 

Milkshake (a) = £1.50

Ice Cream (b) = £2.00 

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Example Questions

Straight away we can subtract equation 2 from equation 1 so that,

 

\begin{aligned}y&=2x-6\\ y&=\dfrac{1}{2}x+6 \\ \\ (y-y)&=(2x-\dfrac{1}{2}x)-6-6 \\ 0&= \dfrac{3}{2}x-12 \end{aligned}

 

If we rearrange to make x the subject we find, 

 

x=\dfrac{2\times12}{3}=\dfrac{24}{3}=8

 

Substituting x=8 back into the original first equation,

 

\begin{aligned}y&=2(8)-6 \\ y&=10\end{aligned}

Hence, the solution is,

x=8, y=10

If we multiply the second equation by 2, we have two equations both with a 2x term, hence subtracting our new equation 2 from equation 1 we get,

 

\begin{aligned}2x-3y&=16\\ 2x+4y&=-12 \\ \\ (2x-2x)+(-3y-4y)&= 16-(-12) \\ 0x -7y &=28\end{aligned}

 

If we rearrange to make y the subject we find, 

 

y=\dfrac{28}{-7}=-4

 

Substituting y=-4 back into the original second equation,

 

\begin{aligned}x+2(-4)&=-6 \\ x-8&=-6 \\ x&=2\end{aligned}

 

Hence, the solution is,

x=2, y=-4

If we multiply the first equation by 3, we have two equations both with a 3x term, hence subtracting our new equation 2 from equation 1 we get,

 

\begin{aligned}3x+6y+30&=0 \\ 3x-5y-14&=0 \end{aligned}

(3x-3x)+(6y-(-5y))+(30-(-14)) = 0

\begin{aligned} 11y &= -44 \\ y &= - 4\end{aligned}

 

Substituting y=-4 back into the original first equation,

 

\begin{aligned}x+2(-4)+10&=0\\ x-8+10 &=0 \\ x&=-2 \end{aligned}

Hence, the solution is,

x=-2, y=-4

Let A be the cost of an adult ticket and let C be the cost of a child ticket, thus we have two simultaneous equations, 

 

\begin{aligned} 2A+3C&=20 \\ A+C&=8.5 \end{aligned}

 

If we multiply the second equation by 2, we have two equations both with a 2A term, hence subtracting our new equation 2 from equation 1 we get,

 

\begin{aligned} 2A+3C&=20 \\ 2A+2C&=17 \\ \\ (2A-2A)+(3C-2C) &=(20-17) \\ C&=3\end{aligned}

 

Then, substituting this value back into the original equation 2, we get,

 

\begin{aligned} A+3&=8.5 \\ A & =5.5\end{aligned}

 

Therefore, the cost of a child ticket is £3, and the cost of an adult ticket is £5.50.

If we multiply the first equation by 2, we have two equations both with a 2y term, hence adding our new equation 1 and equation 2 we get,

 

\begin{aligned} 2x^2-2y&=28 \\ 2y-4&=12x \\ \\ 2x^2+(-4)+(-2y+2y)&=28+12x \\ 2x^2-12x-32&=0\end{aligned}

 

After rearranging to form a quadratic we can solve for x

 

\begin{aligned} 2x^2-12x-32&=0 \\ 2(x^2-6x-16)&=0 \\ (x-8)(x+2)&=0\end{aligned}

 

Therefore, the 2 solutions for x are x=8, x=-2. To find the two y solutions, we can substitute these values back into the original second equation.

 

When x=8

\begin{aligned}2y-4&=96 \\ y&=50 \end{aligned}

When x=-2,

\begin{aligned}2y-4&=-24 \\ y &= -10\end{aligned}

Thus, the two pairs of solutions are,

x=8,y=50 and x=-2,y=-10

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Worksheets and Exam Questions

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(NEW) Simultaneous Equations (Linear) Exam Style Questions - MME

Level 4-5 New Official MME
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(NEW) Simultaneous Equations (Non-linear) Exam Style Questions - MME

Level 8-9 New Official MME

Drill Questions

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Solving Simultaneous - Drill Questions

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Simultaneous Equations (Linear) - Drill Questions

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Simultaneous Equations (Linear and Non-linear) - Drill Questions

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Simultaneous Equations (Linear and Non-linear) 2 - Drill Questions

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Simultaneous Equations (Mixed)

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