# 15 Algebra Questions And Practice Problems (KS3 & KS4): Harder GCSE Exam Style Questions Included (2023)

Algebra questions involve using letters or symbols to represent unknown values or values that can change. Here you will find 15 algebra questions to test your knowledge and show you the different ways that algebra can be used to solve a problem to find an unknown value or to make generalisations.

• Algebra in KS3 and KS4
• Algebra in KS2
• Algebra questions KS2
• Algebra questions KS3
• You may also like:
• Algebra questions KS3: forming and solving equations
• Algebra questions KS3: graphs
• Algebra questions KS4
• Algebra questions KS4: algebraic manipulation
• Algebra questions KS4: forming and solving equations
• Algebra questions KS4: graphs
• Looking for more algebra questions and resources?
• Looking for more KS3 and KS4 maths questions?

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### Algebra in KS3 and KS4

There are many topics and techniques within algebra. In KS3 we learn to write and manipulate basic algebraic expressions and linear equations. In KS4 we develop these techniques to allow us to deal with more complicated algebra problems such as ones that involve quadratic equations or a system of equations.

### How to solve algebraic questions

When you are presented with an algebraic problem it is important to establish what you are being asked to do. Here are some of the key terms along with what they mean:

• Solve the equation – find out the value of the unknown
• Substitute – put the values you have been given into the algebraic expression
• Simplify – collect together like terms to make the expression or equation look simpler
• Expand brackets – multiply out the brackets
• Factorise – put into brackets
• Make x the subject – rewrite the equation in the form x =…..

Remember, when working with algebra, we must still apply BODMAS / BIDMAS.i.e. Brackets, Indices (powers, exponents, square roots), Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction.

When working with algebraic expressions and equations we must consider carefully which operations to deal with first. Download this 15 Algebra Questions And Practice Problems (KS3 & KS4) Worksheet Download Free Now!

### Algebra in KS2

The ideas of writing and simplifying expressions, solving equations and substitution are introduced in KS2. Here are some example KS2 algebra questions:

#### Algebra questions KS2

1. A chocolate bar costs c pence and a drink costs d pence. Write down an expression for the cost of 2 chocolate bars and 2 drinks.

c+d 2c+d 2c+2d 2c-2d 2 chocolate bars would cost 2 lots of c, or 2c, and 2 drinks would cost 2 lots of d, or 2d.

2. Simplify the expression 4m+5+2m-1

10m 6m+4 6m+6 6m-4 We need to collect together like terms here so 4m + 2m = 6m and 5 – 1 = 4 (watch out for the negative).

### Algebra questions KS3

In KS3 we learn a variety of different algebra techniques to answer algebra questions and to practise problem solving with algebra. These include:

• Simplifying algebraic expressions
• Expanding brackets and factoring
• Forming algebraic equations from word problems
• Solving algebraic equations and inequalities
• Substituting into expressions
• Changing the subject of an equation
• Working with real life graphs and straight line graphs
• Sequences
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#### Algebra questions KS3: basic algebra

1. In this pyramid, you add two adjacent blocks to find the value of the block above. What expression will be in the top box?

8a-2b 12a-b 12a+5b 10a+b  2. Brian is a window cleaner. He uses the following formula to calculate the amount to charge his customers:

Charge = £20 + 4n

Where n is the number of windows a house has.

If a house has 7 windows, how much would Brian charge?

£24 £67 £48 £27 In this question, n is 7 so we can substitute 7 into the formula.

Charge = £20 + 4 × 7

Charge = £48

3. The area of a rectangle is 4x-6. Which of the following pairs could be the length and width of the rectangle?

4x and 6x 4 and x-6 2 and 2x-3 2x and 2x-3 There are two ways of attempting this question. We know that area \;of \;a \;rectangle = length × width so we could multiply each pair together to see which pair makes 4x − 6.

Alternatively, if we factorise 4x − 6 we get 2(2x − 3) meaning the sides could be 2 and 2x − 3.

4. The formula for changing degrees Celsius to degrees Fahrenheit is

F=\frac{9C}{5}+32

Rearrange this formula to make C the subject.

C=\frac{5(F-32)}{9} C=\frac{5F-32}{9} C=\frac{5F}{9}-32 C=5F-\frac{32}{9} \begin{aligned}F&=\frac{9C}{5}+32 \hspace{3cm} &\text{subtract 32}\\\\F-32&=\frac{9C}{5} &\text{multiply by 5}\\\\5(F-32)&=9C &\text{divide by 9}\\\\\frac{5(F-32)}{9}&=C\end{aligned}

#### Algebra questions KS3: forming and solving equations

5. Work out the size of the smallest angle. 20^{\circ} 26^{\circ} 8^{\circ} 34^{\circ} The angles in a triangle add up to 180^{\circ} therefore we can write

4x+2x-10+3x-8=180

Now we have an equation we can solve.

\begin{aligned}9x-18&=180 \hspace{3cm} &\text{add } 18\\9x&=198 &\text{divide by } 9\\x&=22^{\circ}\end{aligned}

The angles are :

\begin{aligned}4\times22&=88^{\circ}\\2\times22 -10&=34^{\circ}\\3\times22 -8&=58^{\circ}\end{aligned}

The smallest angle is 34^{\circ} .

6. Jamie’s dad is 4 times older than Jamie. In 14 years time, Jamie’s dad will be twice the age of Jamie.

What is the sum of Jamie’s age now and Jamie’s dad’s age now?

70 42 22 35 To solve this we need to write an equation.

Let Jamie’s age now be x . Then Jamie’s dad’s age is 4x .

In 14 years time Jamie’s age will be x + 14 and Jamie’s dad’s age will be 4x + 14 .

Since we know Jamie’s dad’s age will be two times Jamie’s age, we can write

4x+14=2(x+14)

Now we have an equation we can solve.

\begin{aligned}4x+14&=2(x+14) \hspace{3cm} &\text{expand the brackets}\\4x+14&=2x+28 \hspace{3cm} &\text{subtract 2x}\\2x+14&=28 \hspace{3cm} &\text{subtract 14}\\2x&=14 \hspace{3cm} &\text{expand the brackets}\\x&=7 \hspace{3cm}\end{aligned}

Jamie is currently 7 years old meaning his dad is 28 years old. The sum of their ages is 35 .

#### Algebra questions KS3: graphs

7. Which of the following lines passes through the point (2, 5)?

y=2x-1 y=2x+1 y=4x-2 y=2x+5 At the point (2, 5), x is 2 and y is 5. We can check which equation works when we substitute in these values:

### Algebra questions KS4

Algebra is studied extensively in the GCSE and IGCSE curriculum.

In KS4 we build on the techniques learnt in KS3. Topics include:

• Expanding and factorising polynomials
• Solving simultaneous equations
• Inequalities
• Algebraic fractions
• Further work on graphs
• Functions

#### Algebra questions KS4: algebraic manipulation

8. Which of the following expressions has the smallest value when a=5 and b=-3?

\frac{1}{2}(a-b) ab b^2 b − 4a 9. Find an expression in terms of x for the volume of this cuboid 30x^3-49x^2+4x+3 30x^3-46x^2-8x-3 30x^3-3 30x^3+3 Volume of a cuboid = length × width × height

Volume = (5x+1)(2x-3)(3x-1)

Volume = (10x^2+2x-15x-3)(3x-1)

Volume = (10x^2-13x-3)(3x-1)

Volume = 30x^3-39x^2-9x-10x^2+13x+3

Volume = 30x^3-49x^2+4x+3

#### Algebra questions KS4: forming and solving equations

10. The area of this triangle is 24cm^2 . Work out the perimeter of the triangle.

16cm 24cm 12cm 9cm The area of a triangle is area = \frac{1}{2} × b × h.

If we fill in what we know we get:

\begin{aligned}24&=\frac{1}{2}\times 6 \times (3x-1) \hspace{3cm} &\text{simplify}\\\\24&=3(3x-1) &\text{multiply out the brackets}\\\\24&=9x-3 &\text{add 3}\\\\27&=9x &\text{divide by 9}\\\\x&=3\end{aligned}

Since x = 3 , the side lengths are 6m, 8cm and 10cm .

The perimeter is 6 + 8 + 10 = 24cm .

11. Solve the equation x+2-\frac{15}{x}=0

x=-2 or x=15 x=-3 or x=5 x=-5 or x=3 x=-15 or x=2 We can make this a bit easier by getting rid of the fraction involving x. We do this by multiplying each term by x.

\begin{aligned}x+2-\frac{15}{x}&=0 \hspace{3cm} &\text{multiply by x}\\\\x^{2}+2x-15&=0 &\text{factorise}\\\\(x+5)(x-3)&=0 &\text{solve}\\\\&x=-5 \text{ or } x=3\end{aligned}

12. At a theme park the Jones family purchased 2 adult tickets and 3 child tickets for £48 . The Evans family purchased 3 adult tickets and 1 child ticket for £44 .

Calculate the cost of one child ticket.

£10 £8 £12 £6 We can write simultaneous equations to solve this.

2a+3c=48 (Equation 1)
3a+c=44 (Equation 2)

Multiply equation 2 by 3 to make the coefficients of c equal: 9a+3c=132 (Equation 3)

Subtract equation 1 from equation 3:
7a= 84
a=12

Substitute a into equation 3:
3×12+c=44
36+c=44
c=8

The cost of an adult ticket is £12 and a child ticket is £8 .

#### Algebra questions KS4: graphs

13. Which of these lines is parallel to the line 2y = x + 7

3y=x+7 y=2x-2 y=\frac{1}{2}x-9 2y=3x+8 For two lines to be parallel, their gradient must be equal.

If we rearrange 2y=x+7 to make y the subject we get y=\frac{1}{2}x+\frac{7}{2}.

14. Find the minimum value of the function f(x) = x^2+4x+5 .

1 -2 5  To find the minimum value we need to complete the square.

\begin{aligned}f(x)&=x^2+4x+5\\f(x)&=(x+2)^2-4+5\\f(x)&=(x+2)^2+1\end{aligned}

The minimum value is 1. This occurs when (x+2) is 0.

15. The diagram shows the circle x^2+y^2=25 . The line is a tangent to the circle at the point (3,4) . Work out the equation of the line. y=5x+5 y=3x+4 y=\frac{-3}{4}x+3 y=\frac{-3}{4}x+\frac{21}{4} To work out the gradient of the line we need to work out the gradient of the normal.

We know that the normal goes through the points (0, 0) and (3, 4) so we can calculate the gradient: \frac{4-0}{3-0}=\frac{4}{3}.

The gradient of the tangent will be \frac{-3}{4}.

We can now use y=mx+c . We know the tangent goes through the point (3, 4) and that it’s gradient is \frac{-3}{4} .

Therefore

\begin{aligned}4&=\frac{-3}{4} \times 3 +c\\\\4&=\frac{-9}{4}+c\\\\4+\frac{9}{4}&=c\\\\\frac{25}{4}&=c\end{aligned}

y=\frac{-3}{4}x+\frac{25}{4} \text{ or } 4y=-3x+25

#### Looking for more algebra questions and resources?

Third Space Learning’s free GCSE maths resource library contains detailed lessons with step-by-step instructions on how to solve algebra problems, as well as worksheets with algebra practice questions and more GCSE exam questions.

Take a look at the Algebra lessons today – more are added every week.

#### Looking for more KS3 and KS4 maths questions?

Try these:

• 15 Simultaneous equations questions
• 15 Trigonometry questions
• 15 Ratio questions
• 15 Probability questions
• 15 Venn diagram questions
• 15 Pythagoras theorem questions
• Long division questions

Read more: Question Level Analysis Of Edexcel Maths Past Papers (Foundation)

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## FAQs

### What are the topics in GCSE algebra? ›

The Algebra GCSE maths revision section of Revision Maths covers: Factorising, Solving Equations, Travel Graphs, Algebraic Fractions, Equation of a Straight Line, Simultaneous Equations, Inequalities, Indices, Quadratic Equations and Functions.

What does algebra 1 cover? ›

Algebra 1 is the second math course in high school and will guide you through among other things expressions, systems of equations, functions, real numbers, inequalities, exponents, polynomials, radical and rational expressions.

What is the hardest algebra problem ever? ›

Riemann Hypothesis

It's so difficult that it's become the ultimate math problem, and it's also one of the Millennium Prize Problems with a \$1 million prize for solving it.

What is the hardest algebra math problem? ›

It's called a Diophantine Equation, and it's sometimes known as the “summing of three cubes”: Find x, y, and z such that x³+y³+z³=k, for each k from one to 100.

What are the hardest topics in GCSE maths? ›

Circle equations, trigonometry, simultaneous equations, just to name a few. Make sure to try each of them yourself before looking at the answers, but don't worry if you get it wrong. You can only become good in maths through practice and many mistakes.

Is math GCSE hard? ›

While many consider maths to be a difficult subject, with the right teaching and preparation it can be one of the easier subjects to do well in, as it's not based on the subjective opinion of an examiner like some other subjects are. So how do you pass GCSE maths?

What is GCSE math method? ›

The GCSE in Methods in Mathematics is designed to provide a course in mathematics which consolidates the connections between mathematics and which approaches the subject in a purely mathematical manner.

How do I pass my algebra exam? ›

Study Effectively

It's a good idea to work on some of the unassigned problems in your book, as well, especially if you're having trouble understanding a particular type of problem and to get more practice. You should also look over any homework, quizzes and tests that your instructor hands back.

What makes algebra difficult? ›

Algebra is hard usually because we assume we are learning new information, when we are actually putting language to concrete ideas we already know to be true from experience. Algebra becomes hard when we start down the path of memorization and speed and don't stop to fully understand and master concepts.

Is algebra 1 or 2 harder? ›

Because Algebra 2 builds on and combines material from past math classes as well as includes additional miscellaneous concepts, it is inherently a level above Algebra 1 in terms of difficulty; however, if the student did not struggle with Algebra 1, the addition of new material introduced in Algebra 2 should not be too ...

### Is algebra 1 a 9th grade class? ›

9th grade math usually focuses on Algebra I, but can include other advanced mathematics such as Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus or Trigonometry.

Is algebra 1 a 10th grade class? ›

Some schools may offer Algebra I in either 9th/10th grade OR 11th/12th grade, but not both. Nonetheless, it is important that students have access to Algebra I sometime in their high school career.

What is an algebra question? ›

Algebra questions involve using letters or symbols to represent unknown values or values that can change. Here you will find 15 algebra questions to test your knowledge and show you the different ways that algebra can be used to solve a problem to find an unknown value or to make generalizations.

What are the 5 types of algebra? ›

• Elementary Algebra.
• Abstract Algebra.
• Linear Algebra.
• Commutative Algebra.

What are the 4 types of math questions? ›

If you were a math major, you should still get familiar with the 4 types of questions that you will see on the exam:
• Multiple Choice: 1 or More Answers.
• Quantitative Comparisons.
• Numeric Entries.

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