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The steady state is a much longer approach to finding the correct reaction mechanism. This involves setting the rate of reaction of the intermediate equal to zero and then plugging it into another rate law for another elementary reaction. For preequilibrium the approach is much simpler and simply involves finding the equilibrium, K, for the fast equilibrium step and plugging it into the rate law for the slower elementary step to get it to match the overall rate law. Since we didn't cover steady state, I doubt it will play a huge part on the test.
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