How To Study Algebra- Top Tips and Tricks

solving math equations in graph paper

You feel your heart clench as your algebra professor hands you back your graded test paper. Another big red F in the corner. If you keep failing, you're going to have to retake the course next semester.

Don't feel so bad about yourself. Math doesn't come easy to everyone. Many people struggle to grasp the complex equations and concepts.

You see, unlike many subjects, there is more to math than memorization. To study algebra, you've got to actually put what you learn into practice to arrive at the right answer. This is the cornerstone of success.

We promise that if you perform the following steps, you'll be able to nail down the subject and see an A on your next test.

Build a Solid Foundation 

Before you can start tackling algebra, you've got to use basic math concepts to form a solid foundation of learning. If you can barely multiply or divide, algebra isn't going to come easy to you. 

Do some practice with basic problems. Once you have this down, you can begin to slowly solve algebraic equations. Start from simple, one-step equations and work your way up to the kind of formulas you're solving in class. 

Memorization Isn't Always a Good Thing

You've got an English test tomorrow! What do you do? Probably delve into your notes and try to memorize as much as you can. 

This tactic can work for some subjects. Algebra isn't one of them. You can have your multiplication table down but when it comes time to take your test, it's easy to panic and forget. 

You need to have some basic number sense. Know how they work and their role in a function. 

Always Do Your Homework 

Practice makes perfect. When it comes to math, this statement can't be truer. So, always complete your homework. 

Homework may not be your favorite thing but it gives you the chance to apply what you learned in class. Even if your teacher doesn't assign homework, you should still do some basic problems out of the book or redo some of the problems that you did in class. 

Take Detailed Notes

If when you're taking notes you only write down the practice problems that your teacher completes on the board, you won't be able to remember how they arrived at their solution later. 

That's why instead of only writing down problems, try to jot down what the teacher is explaining as well. This way you have a little context. 

Don't Be Ashamed to Ask for Help 

It can be hard to raise your hand in class to ask a question. You don't want to feel foolish for asking something simple. Asking questions is how you learn, however. 

Never be afraid to ask your teacher to go back over a problem or repeat a step. If you're really too shy to ask the question during class, try to grab your instructor after the lesson is over. 

If after you ask your teacher a question you're still confused, consider seeking out an algebra tutor. Some colleges have tutors available on campus that you can visit. If you're not quite in college yet, there is sure to be a tutor in your community who can help you. 

Learn from Your Mistakes 

We understand, receiving an F on a test is heartbreaking. Especially if it's your second or third F in a row. Instead of beating yourself up, see each failure as a chance to learn from your mistakes. 

Write down each question that received a red X, figure out what you did wrong, and practice until you arrive at the correct answer. 

Take Your Time 

Math centers around numbers but that's not all there is to it. Each formula is grounded in concepts. It's important that you slow down and take a moment to grasp these concepts before you start trying to tackle complex equations. 

Read a word problem in its entirety and break it apart into chunks before you try to come to a solution for example. 

Don't Miss Lectures 

If you're struggling with algebra it's important that you go to every single one of your lectures. Missing a single lesson can cause you to miss out on an important concept that will tie together the entire chapter for you. 

If something comes up and you have to skip out on class, seek out your teacher to find out what you missed as soon as you can. 

Don't Be Too Hard on Yourself 

When you fail a test, it's easy to get discouraged and drop out of the class or at least dip out and stop paying attention. This isn't the mindset you need to have if you want to pass. 

When you tell yourself that you're bad at math, it will become true. If you go into the course expecting to fail then you will. 

You'll either become bored with the subject or every single test will make you feel anxious. When you become anxious, it's likely that you'll forget everything you learned and not be able to answer a single question.  

Learn How to Study Algebra and Become a Math-Whizz

Are you tired of failing your math tests? It's not a subject that comes easily to everyone. You've got to try and grasp the concepts when you study algebra instead of simply memorizing numbers and formulas. 

Study hard, take good notes, go to each of your classes, practice problems, don't be too hard on yourself, and we promise, you'll become a whizz in no time. 

Having trouble with other subjects besides math? Check out the education section of our blog daily for more articles like this one. 


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