Finding ways to turn complex problems into simple ones is a valuable skill when taking the GMAT. U-substitution is a technique that can help accomplish this. It will save you time and decrease the likelihood that you will make a mistake. In the following video and example, we examine u-substitution in more detail.

Below is a GMAT math problem on which you can apply the u-substitution technique.

If (3x + 1)^{2} – 14(3x+1) + 49 = 0 then x =

(A) -7
(B) -3
(C) 2
(D) 6
(E) 7

The first step isidentifying the common element (3x + 1 in this example.) Then rewrite the equation substituting u for 3x + 1:

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