# Variables

One of the first things you learn in algebra is the concept of variables.  As you may already know a variable is simply a letter or symbol that holds the value of a number. Algebra is really like basic arithmetic but instead of adding, subtracting multiplying and dividing regular numbers we perform these same math operations using “number place holders” that we call variables.  As you start to master variables one of things you need to learn how to do is “evaluate” a variable expression.  All this means is plugging in a number for a variable and then simplify the remaining numeric expression.  The video lesson below will really help you get started- good luck!

concepts to remember about variables:

1. variables can be any letter or symbol that represents a number
2. we use the same properties and rules of arithmetic with variables
3. understanding variables is key to mastering algebra
4. always use ( ) when replacing a variable with a number
5. use the order of operations to help you simplify a variable/numeric expression