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How To Spot Sequences

Education : Maths

The sorts of questions that many people do not like involve maths sequences, and having to spot the pattern and then work out what the next term is.

Some are so obvious that we just know them straight out, like:
2,4,6,8 you are sure to see the next number is 10.

But what about ones that are less obvious?

Well the best thing to see is if the change is constant or if it is multiplied between each term.

For instance, if there is a steady increase in numbers through the sequence then that increase will be reflected in the formula.

Therefore in this sequence:
3,5,7,9 we see there is a steady increase of '2' in each term, therefore the formula will contain '2n' and here it is 2n + 1.

Often looking at the first term of the sequence will help you work out the pattern.

By: Stephen

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