Solving rational equations follows the same rules as solving any other type of equation. Whatever you do to one

side of the equation, you must do to the other. If you have fractions, you try to eliminate them by multiplying by the common denominator. If there are quadratics involved, you must get all terms to one

side with zero on the other. If you need practice solving linear equations (

**link to linear equations**) or solving

quadratic equations, click on the link to review those skills before working with rational equations.

Recall that a

rational expression is in the form of a

fraction where there is a

variable in the denominator. Solving rational equations will involve simplifying rational expressions. If you need to review that topic,

click here.

Before we begin with a rational function, letâ€™s look at how we would handle an

equation like

Our first step in solving this

equation would be to multiply each term by the least common denominator of the fractions, which is 12.

Simplifying this particular

equation results in the following

linear equation which we can then solve to get our final answer.

It was important to look at an

equation that did not have a

variable in the denominator to make sure we see the

pattern for solving rational equations. Here are the steps we will use in our

solution process.

- Determine the least common denominator of all the fractions in the equation.
- Eliminate the fraction(s) by multiplying ALL terms by the least common denominator.
- Simplify the terms.
- Solve the resulting equation.
- Check your answers to make sure the solution does not make the fraction undefined.