Algebra Helps

  • Make sure the student knows all the pre-algebra skills.  Otherwise, the student will need a tutor who not only helps them with the course material, but will have to teach the prerequisite skills as well.  Not an easy task.
  • Homework must be done correctly.  Many students are satisfied to simply finish homework, not caring about quality, just to get parents and teachers off their back.  Plus, math teachers often give credit simply if homework is completed not whether it is correct or not.   If you get problems on the homework wrong, you must find out why and correct them.
  • Pay attention during class.  Take notes.  Follow along with the instructor.  Ask questions when you don’t understand.
  • It is very important that students study for algebra quizzes and tests just like any other subject.  Students should not assume that because they did the homework and understood the concept that they will remember how to do it on a test.
  • Ways to study for tests include reworking the homework problems without looking at the textbook.  If there is a time constraint, work every other problem or selected problems.
  • If the test includes review problems at the end of each chapter, work those.
  • When taking a test, apply test-taking skills.
  • Do not panic when looking at numerous questions.  Focus on only one problem at a time even going so far as to cover up the other questions with your scratch paper.
  • Go through and answer the problems you know how to do first.
  • Go back and carefully read and reread the ones that you do not instantly know how to solve.
  • Try working the problem different ways.
  • Pull out the information for word problems and write it down.  Sometimes looking at the information will clue you in as to what to do.
  •  While taking the test, be careful to avoid simple mistakes.  Check your factoring.  See that it adds up to the correct product.
  • When you have finished the test, go back and check your answers.  Make sure that simple arithmetic and positive and negatives are correct.

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