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Arithmetic Sequences (the nth Term)

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In an Arithmetic sequence like this:

4, 10, 16, 22, 28, 34 ...

the nth term is found as follows:

**Step 1**

Find the common difference between the terms

Here it is 6.

**Step 2**

The common difference is the coefficient of n

Here we get 6n

**Step 3**

Compare this to the actual sequence and adjust the formula by adding or subtracting a fixed number.

Here 6n would give us the terms 6, 12, 18, 24, 30 etc.... which is 2 more than our sequence of 4, 10, 16, 22, 28 etc.

So we must subtract 2.

So the nth term is 6n - 2

We can test this by putting in n = 5 to check that the 5th term is really 28.

It is because 6 x 5 - 2 = 30 - 2 = 28

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