## Key Concepts

**Problem-Solving Strategy**

**Read**the word problem. Make sure you understand all the words and ideas. You may need to read the problem two or more times. If there are words you don’t understand, look them up in a dictionary or on the internet.**Identify**what you are looking for. Determine the constants and variables in the problem. A constant is a number in the problem that is not going to change. A variable is a number that you don’t yet know its value.**Name**what you are looking for. Choose a letter to represent that quantity.**Translate**words into algebraic expressions and equations. Write an equation to represent the problem. It may be helpful to first restate the problem in one sentence before translating.**Solve**the equation using good algebra techniques.**Check**the answer in the problem. Make sure it makes sense.**Answer**the question with a complete sentence.

**Consecutive numbers** numbers that come one after the other. Some examples of consecutive integers are:

[latex]\begin{array}{cccc}n\hfill & & & \text{1st integer}\hfill \\ n+1\hfill & & & \text{2nd consecutive integer}\hfill \\ n+2\hfill & & & \text{3rd consecutive integer}\hfill \end{array}[/latex]