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## Introduction to Algebra

Students, teachers, and others wishing to brush up on math skills will find this an invaluable program. Booklist is a leading review magazine published by the American Library Association. Ask a question about this product. I purchased the new algebra series for my son in 9th grade.

It helped him out immensely. The product is up to date, and has really good graphic effects. That guy is a one of a kind teacher. Learn the basic math facts. Algebra is a system of manipulating numbers and operations to try to solve problems. When you learn algebra, you will learn the rules to follow for solving problems.

But to help make that easier, you need to have a strong understanding of basic math facts. You should know basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts and be able to work with them easily.

### Why Use a Letter?

In particular, you should be able to do the following: Being able to work with two-digit numbers is even more helpful. Know your multiplication tables from 1 through Know division and factors for numbers up through 12x Practice the rules of fractions. Algebra uses the rules of fractions as much as any other numbering system. You need to be comfortable with finding common denominators, adding and subtracting fractions, multiplying and dividing fractions.

When you learn algebra, you will expand this knowledge into working with unknown variables, but you need a strong understanding of the basics first. You need to know the concept of reciprocal numbers. The short definition of a reciprocal is that it is a fraction turned upside down. You use reciprocals as an alternative to division, when the problem is complicated. Instead of dividing by one fraction, you can multiply by its reciprocal. Know how to use negative numbers. You will often be using negative numbers or variables.

You should review how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide negatives before starting to learn algebra. Here are some basic rules for working with negatives. On a number line , a negative number is the same distance from zero as the positive, but in the opposite direction. A negative plus a negative will also be negative. Adding two negative numbers together makes the number more negative. Two negative signs together cancel each other out.

Subtracting a negative number is the same as adding a positive number. Multiplying or dividing two negative numbers gives a positive answer. Multiplying or dividing one positive number and one negative number gives a negative answer. Why do you have to reorder some algebraic questions before you can answer them, and not others?

It was discovered long ago that algebraic equations are most easily solved by following certain steps in a particular order. Not Helpful 4 Helpful 8. I am starting college in the future. What is the easiest and fastest way to learn algebra? I have been out of high school 40 years. The easiest way is to read an algebra textbook and understand each concept as it's presented. You could also hire a tutor. Not Helpful 8 Helpful Not Helpful 0 Helpful 1. I absolutely suck at math; I don't understand a word the teacher is saying.

It's hard for me to fully understand websites like this. Any advice on how I can improve? It sounds like you could definitely use the services of a good tutor. A "good" tutor is one who can sense that a student is not grasping a concept and is adept at adjusting an explanation until the student does understand. If you don't want to pay for such a service, perhaps you could find a friend or relative who understands algebra and who's willing to spend some time helping you. Ask your teacher things you don't get, or ask classmate or friend for help.

Maybe even stay at lunch or after school with your teacher so you can fully understand it. You could always find Khan Academy videos that are helpful. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 2.

Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. If, for some reason, your teacher can't help you, try asking them about tutoring options at your school. Many schools will have some sort of after-school program that can help you get the extra time and attention you need to start excelling at your algebra. Remember, using free help that's available to you isn't something to be embarrassed about — it's a sign that you're smart enough to solve your problem!

Graphs can be valuable tools in algebra because they allow you to display ideas that you'd usually need numbers for in easy-to-understand pictures. Usually, in beginning algebra, graphing problems are restricted to equations with two variables usually x and y and are done on a simple 2-D graph with an x axis and a y axis. With these equations, all you need to do is plug in a value for x, then solve for y or do the reverse to get two numbers that correspond to a point on the graph.

This means that the point 2,6 two spaces to the right of center and six spaces above center is part of this equation's graph.

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Learn to solve inequalities. What do you do when your equation doesn't use an equals sign? Nothing much different than what you'd normally do, it turns out. You'll be left with an answer that's either less than or greater than your variable. This means that every number less than one works for x.

In other words, x can be 0, -1, -2, and so on. If we plug these numbers into the equation for x, we'll always get an answer less than 3. One algebra topic that many beginners struggle with is solving quadratic equations. Experiment with systems of equations. Solving more than one equation at once may sound super-tricky, but when you're working with simple algebra equations, it's not actually that hard.

Often, algebra teachers use a graphing approach for solving these problems. When you're working with a system of two equations, the solutions are the points on a graph that the lines for both equations cross at. If we draw these two lines on a graph, we get one line that goes up at a steep angle, and one that goes down at a mild angle. Since these lines cross at the point -1,-5 , this is a solution to the system. Subtract 13 from both sides to get x by itself. That makes the equation: Not Helpful 13 Helpful No, because the first equation asks for addition and the second equation asks for multiplication.

Not Helpful 16 Helpful Algebra is a good tool for solving mathematical puzzles and situations that may arise in real life. Think about how you could apply it to your daily life. Not Helpful 19 Helpful Multiply b-1 by 7. Then subtract 8-b , which means you subtract 8 and add b. Not Helpful 12 Helpful Isolate the variable on one side of the equation and the constant on the other side. In this example, subtract 3x from both sides, leaving no x on the left side and 3x on the right side.

Then add 7 to both sides, leaving no constant on the right side and 11 on the left side. Then divide both sides by the remaining coefficient of the variable. Not Helpful 14 Helpful Is x the exponent or the base? If it is the base, you will most likely have to factor it or use the quadratic equation.

If the x is cubed, there are formulas you can memorize. If it raised to the fourth power, it often cannot be done by hand, unless by factoring. If x is the exponent, you have to use logarithms. Not Helpful 17 Helpful Not Helpful 1 Helpful 3. Place positive integers to the right of zero, negative integers to the left of zero.

## Introduction to Algebra

Not Helpful 6 Helpful 6. Not Helpful 4 Helpful 4.

Subtract 5d from both sides, and add 3 to both sides: Divide both sides by 4: Not Helpful 4 Helpful 3. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary To learn algebra, make sure you know the order of operations and how to use negative numbers.

Did this summary help you? Tips There are tons of resources for people learning algebra online. For instance, just a simple search engine query like "algebra help" can yield dozens of great results. You may also want to try browsing WikiHow's selection of math articles.

There's a huge amount of information out there, so start exploring today! One great site for algebra beginners is khanacademy. This free site offers tons of easy-to-follow lessons on a huge variety of topics, including algebra. There are videos for everything from the extreme basics to advanced university-level topics, so don't be afraid to dive in to Khan Academy's material and start using all the help that the site has to offer! Don't forget that your best resources when you're trying to learn algebra can be the people you're already comfortable with.

Try talking to friends or fellow students who are taking the class with you if need extra help understanding your last lesson. Article Info Featured Article Categories: Featured Articles Algebra In other languages: Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read , times. Did this article help you? Cookies make wikiHow better. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy.