Have you ever made a mistake when trying to solve a math problem? It can be pretty easy to

do, and often will result in losing points on an exam. In the real world, such mistakes can

have more serious effects: Miscalculating how much gas you have left in your car will leave

you stranded. Miscalculating how much money you have left in your bank account might cost

you an overdraft fee. Even more serious, miscalculations have resulted in serious accidents

happening many times. Once, as a result of not using the correct units, a satellite sent to

Mars burned up in the atmosphere, wasting over $300 million dollars.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid making errors along the way. One of

these strategies is manipulating formulas so they are solving for the variable you want before

you substitute values for the variables in the formula. This technique is especially useful

when working with large, unwieldy numbers.