What is a formula?
One of the most practical applications of algebra is using it to write a formula.
A formula is a rule linking two or more variables. A variable is something that can change (vary) its value. For example, temperature changes depending on whether is it winter or summer, so temperature is a variable. Formulas are usually used to solve reallife problems or represent real scenarios. Formulas are used frequently in maths to simplify or shorten a method that we use all the time. Once we understand a method for working something out, it is OK to shorten it so we're not writing loads out every time we do a calculation. For example, we calculate the area of a triangle by multiplying base by height, then dividing our answer by 2. Rather than write that out in full each time, we could write a word formula, then shorten it even further by using letters instead of full words using correct algebraic notation. 
First StepsAlgebraic notation

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