There are many ways to solve a systems of linear equations in your high school Algebra class, but sometimes it is wise to let technology play a bigger role in doing some of the calculations for you. Texas Instruments’ graphing calculators can take care of much of the math for you.

Systems’ problems are not necessarily difficult to understand, but it is easy to make a small miscalculation due to their being so many small algebraic steps along the way. One tiny mistake in these sometimes page long problems can result in an answer that is nowhere close to being accurate. If you solve these problems using matrices in your calculator, then you only must be wary of a typo along the way.

To begin you need to hit the 2nd-x inverse keys on your calculator and this will take you to the main window involving matrices. All of your equations need to be in standard form, and then you will take the coefficients of all the variables and enter those into your first matrix. The constants on the other side of the equals’ signs will go into the other matrix. Again this cannot be stressed enough, you must double check your typing to make sure all the values have been inputted correctly. This really is the only way you can mess this process up.

After inputting and checking your data entry it is now time to let the calculator do the configuring for you. You need to go back into the matrices window and name the coefficient matrix. This should name the letter (usually A) back onto the main screen. Next, press the inverse button and you will next name the matrix that has the constants in it. So the formula to find your solutions is the product of the inverse of the coefficient matrix and the constant matrix.

This is really all there is to it. Practice these steps several times before you’re ready to put this method to the test on your next actual Algebra test. While this method is not always the quickest way to solve a systems of linear equations problem, it can sometimes be the most efficient depending on your Algebra skills.

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