In sporting tournaments, teams are eliminated after they lose. The number of teams in the tournament then decreases by half with each round. If there are 16 teams left after 3 rounds, how many teams started out in the tournament?

Read the problem statement carefully and then reread it, this time identifying the known quantities.

Read the statement again, identifying the unknown quantity or variable.

Create expressions and equations from the known quantities and variable(s).

Substitute the values into the general form of an exponential equation, .

Follow the order of operations to solve the resulting equation.

Interpret the solution in terms of the context of the problem.

This applet is provided by Walch Education as supplemental material for their mathematics programs. Visit www.walch.com for more information on their resources.