How to Learn Algebra for Beginners

Some agebra problems
••• algebra image by Katrina Miller from

Algebra is a necessary course for graduating in all U.S. high schools. Algebra is more abstract than its prerequisite courses, so many people can fall behind. Thankfully, additional study tools are available to people who want to get ahead in math or have difficulties learning new concepts. Students may struggle but must focus on their need to master the class.

    Acquire a textbook. Algebra books are usually given to you if you are enrolled in a class and the course is taught by a teacher. However, if you are attempting to get ahead by yourself, books are available online. For example, Stanford and Duke universities have created course guides for advanced students.

    Look up state requirements for the class (for example, Texas' TEKS). This will help you focus on key areas necessary for passing. For example, state exams focus more on the early basics than advanced functions toward the end of the course. However, these should still be studied for further understanding.

    Read instructions for comprehension. For example, proportions may be easy to figure out without direction, but inverse and absolute value functions can be confusing. It's important to understand how these topics can be applied to more complex situations as well.

    Elicit help from a tutor if you are still struggling. Tutors may slow down the course for you or change the course slightly to appeal to your level of understanding. This can be key to many courses for different minds.


    • Don't skip any part of the course, even if it's not emphasized in the state requirements. Many concepts are built upon former ideas.

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