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# Plugging In: Basic Technique

If in \$\$k+1\$\$ years from now, John will be \$\$m\$\$ years old, then how old was John \$\$t-1\$\$ years ago?
Now go to the answer choices to eliminate any that do not match your goal value. **Plug In** all variables and eliminate any that do not equal 2. >A) \$\$m-k-t = 10-3-5 = \color{blue}{2}\$\$. This doesn't automatically mean that A is the answer, since we need to check all five choices. But it does mean we cannot eliminate A yet. >B) \$\$m+k-t+2 = 10+3-5+2 = \color{red}{10}\$\$. This is not equal to 2. __POE__ this answer choice and move on. >C) \$\$m+k-t+1 = 10+3-5+1 = \color{red}{9}\$\$ . This is not equal to 2. __POE__ this answer choice and move on. >D) \$\$k-m-t+2 = 3-10-5+2\$\$. That's going to be negative, and not equal to 2. __POE__ this answer choice and move on. >E) \$\$k+t-m = 3+5-10 = 8-10= \color{red}{-2}\$\$. This is not equal to 2. __POE__ this answer choice. Answer choice A is the only answer choice that is equal to 2 for \$\$k=3\$\$, \$\$m=10\$\$, and \$\$t=5\$\$ and thus must be the right answer choice. How did you solve this?
Incorrect. [[snippet]] If you plug in \$\$k=3\$\$, \$\$m=10\$\$, and \$\$t=5\$\$, then the goal you get is 2. However, for this answer choice is equal to >\$\$m+k-t+2 = 10+3-5+2 = 10\$\$ This is not equal to 2. __POE__ this answer choice and move on.
Incorrect. [[snippet]] If you plug in \$\$k=3\$\$, \$\$m=10\$\$, and \$\$t=5\$\$, then the goal you get is 2. However, for this answer choice is equal to >\$\$m+k-t+1 = 10+3-5+1 = 9\$\$ This is not equal to 2. __POE__ this answer choice and move on.
Incorrect. [[snippet]] If you plug in \$\$k=3\$\$, \$\$m=10\$\$, and \$\$t=5\$\$, then the goal you get is 2. However, for this answer choice is equal to >\$\$k-m-t+2 = 3-10-5+2 \$\$ That's going to be negative and not equal to 2. __POE__ this answer choice and move on.
Incorrect. [[snippet]] If you plug in \$\$k=3\$\$, \$\$m=10\$\$, and \$\$t=5\$\$, then the goal you get is 2. However, for this answer choice is equal to >\$\$k+t-m = 3+5-10 = 8-10=-2\$\$ This is not equal to 2. __POE__ this answer choice.
Be careful! Questions will quickly become much more difficult and if you use algebra you will: 1. Greatly increase your chance of making mistakes. 2. Waste precious time. So from now on, try to practice __Plugging In__—even for easy questions. That way you'll sharpen your __Plugging In__ skills for the really tough questions that will get you a high score.
Very good.
Correct. [[snippet]] Just pick some values for the variables. Try \$\$k=3\$\$, \$\$m=10\$\$, and \$\$t=5\$\$. Then rewrite the question with the values instead: *"If in 4 years from now, John will be 10 years old, then how old was John 4 years ago?"* >*"If in 4 years from now, John will be 10 years old"* This means he is currently 6 years old. >*"how old was John 4 years ago?"* If he is 6 now, then he was 2 years old 4 years ago. Since the answer to the question is 2, then 2 is your **goal value**.
\$\$m-k-t\$\$
\$\$m+k-t+2\$\$
\$\$m+k-t+1\$\$
\$\$k-m-t+2\$\$
\$\$k+t-m\$\$
I solved it by __Plugging In__.
I solved it using algebra.
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