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Can you solve the equation shown?

Use the "Level" button to change your level.
You can choose from levels 1 to 8.

In each case the number of steps required will be indicated.


For anyone having problems running the Equation Buster please note that this may be due to one or more factors:
  1. First of all make sure you have installed the extra fonts - see the section below.
  2. A slow network may not be fast enough to run this rather complex applet.
  3. A slow computer may not have the resources available to successfully run the applet.
  4. There is a setting on your account details which may help with items 2 and 3 - click on the Your Account button near the top right and then Manage Main Account or Manage Account. There is a slider control called Question Load Speed - adjusting this may rectify the problem.
  5. The JavaScript engine of a particular web browser may not be fast or powerful enough to run the applet. Try a different web browser.
We have looked into reported problems several times - unfortunately, as you can see from the above, there is no simple answer. Just because the applet isn't working for you doesn't mean to say it's actually broken for all users!

Software/Applets used on this page

Equation Buster is a suite of activities designed by MathsNet. You can solve equations set for you at various difficulty levels.

In every case the emphasis is not only on finding the solution but on finding the best steps to get you there. Usually a single tick indicates the correct answer; a double tick indicates the correct answer found in a minimum number of steps.
For a quick start guide in pdf format, written for GCSE, click here. (PLEASE NOTE - this document currently refers to an older version of the applet and has different controls - a new update to this documentation is currently in progress.)

This version of the applet uses the MathJax system for displaying maths symbols.



A statement that two mathematical expressions are equal.


the sum of all the members of the list divided by the number of items in the list.


A graph that has a number associated with each edge.


The probability density function


the answer to a problem.


To find the answer or solution to a problem.


velocity without direction; a scalar quantity

Full Glossary List

This question appears in the following syllabi:

AP Calculus AB (USA)1Algebra and FunctionsBasics
AP Calculus BC (USA)1Algebra and FunctionsBasics
AQA A-Level (UK - Pre-2017)C1Algebra and FunctionsBasics
AQA AS Maths 2017Pure MathsAlgebraAlgebra and Function Basics
AQA AS/A2 Maths 2017Pure MathsAlgebraAlgebra and Function Basics
CCEA A-Level (NI)C1Algebra and FunctionsBasics
CIE A-Level (UK)P1Algebra and FunctionsBasics
B Algebra and FunctionsBasicsAlgebraic Basics
Edexcel A-Level (UK - Pre-2017)C1Algebra and FunctionsBasics
Edexcel AS Maths 2017Pure MathsAlgebraic ExpressionsAlgebra and Function Basics
Edexcel AS/A2 Maths 2017Pure MathsAlgebraic ExpressionsAlgebra and Function Basics
I.B. Higher Level2Algebra and FunctionsBasics
I.B. Standard Level2Algebra and FunctionsBasics
Methods (UK)M1Algebra and FunctionsBasics
I.B. (MSSL)4Algebra and FunctionsBasics
OCR A-Level (UK - Pre-2017)C1Algebra and FunctionsBasics
OCR AS Maths 2017Pure MathsIndices and SurdsAlgebra and Function Basics
OCR MEI AS Maths 2017Pure MathsProblem Solving and ProofAlgebra and Function Basics
OCR-MEI A-Level (UK - Pre-2017)C1Algebra and FunctionsBasics
Pre-U A-Level (UK)1Algebra and FunctionsBasics
Scottish (Highers + Advanced)HM1Algebra and FunctionsBasics
Scottish HighersM1Algebra and FunctionsBasics
Universal (all site questions)AAlgebra and FunctionsBasics
WJEC A-Level (Wales)C1Algebra and FunctionsBasics