When I study for test like the one we just had. I usually read over my notes to see what I know and what I don't. I will also make up my own problems and solve them.
The first step to solve an equation is the pre step. In the pre step what you have to do is change all subtraction to plus a negative. The next step is to combine al like terms. For it to a like term it must have the same variable, and exponent. If they do not have them the same you can not combine them. Next you have to isolate the variable by getting the variable on one side and the rest on the other. The last step is to get just one variable. to do this you have to either multiply or divide.