Algebra is one of the core math skills used by successful people across the global economy. Basic word problems lead us to the fundamental use of algebra in trading goods and services. Algebra is based on the use of arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). Algebra takes it a step further by adding an unknown usually denoted by the symbol x. The letter Xx is really popular. The symbol or variable is just a place holder telling us, that is what we are trying to find or determine. Almost all algebra involves equations. Equations are math statements that tell us that two things have the same value (are equal). The knowns help us find the unknowns. For example 8 + 3 = x or more advanced where x - 3 = 8.
The biggest thing to remember, when working with algebra, is that the unknown symbols have very different values in different problems. The unknown symbols are always constant when in the same problem. For example if you have a symbol x listed two or more times, x has the same value throughout the entire problem.