As you know different people have different abilities, skills and bent for study certain sciences. Some people seem to be born with the ability to be very quick on the uptake. It looks like everything comes to them so easily. They study easily and with pleasure, and they don’t need to make a lot of effort to be successful in high school, at colleges, and at universities. But at the same time, there are students who are much less fortunate. It doesn’t mean that that cannot be successful. Of course, they can. But they have to make a lot of effort and spend a lot of time for this.
There are people who can study mathematical sciences easy and carefree. But it is so hard for them to write an essay. And vice versa, there are authors of such great essays and articles who do not like the Algebra, do not understand it and try to avoid it using all sorts of ways. They are so happy to finish school and finally get rid of Mathematics. But the reality dictates its own terms. And many of us will have to meet with Mathematics and with Algebra in college or university. Therefore, it is easier to understand and to learn Algebra than to avoid it the whole life.
What Is Algebra?
The word "Algebra" actually comes from the Arabic language, but what do we know about this science in general? Algebra is one of the most important and capacious parts of Mathematics along with Geometry, Analysis and the Number Theory. It is the study of special mathematical symbols and some rules which make manipulating of these symbols possible. In other words, Algebra is the special branch of Mathematics which is aimed to develop the ability of analytical thinking and which uses the letters in the places of some unknown numbers in its tasks.
There are several subdivisions of the Algebra. And each of them demands different teaching methods and the studying process differs:
- The basic part of Algebra is called Elementary Algebra;
- Abstract Algebra is the most complex and complicated abstract part of the science.
Algebra is an extremely powerful method of problem-solving in different sciences such as Architecture, Engineering, Finance, Economics, Building, etc.
Reasons Why You Should Learn Algebra
- A kind of building block: Algebra is a science that can serve as a kind of building block for further investigations. It means that the Algebra can be used for studying more advanced and complex issues like calculus, statistics, etc. and study advanced subjects. That’s why students should understand that learning Algebra is a great and a very convenient skill that will be useful in any career;
- We use the exact sciences as Algebra in order to have an ability to solve different problems easily and quickly. For example, if you build a house a simple algebraic equation can save many resources;
- If you learned Algebra, you would be able to understand and evaluate the calculations that were done by insurance salesmen, reporters, bank loan officers, political candidates, etc.
Some Algebra Techniques
At the certain stage of learning this subject, it is important for the student to move on from “learning” stage to the “doing” stage. It is caused by the reason that many math techniques that are used by the students when they study Algebra are designed to make them understand the subject and remember the basic algebraic rules but not to optimize their efficiency or speed.
But when the students know the basics they should move to the next level of the math courses, when they start not only to investigate the peculiarities of the Algebra but to use it for exploring new things and concepts. At this stage of Algebra learning, it transforms from the subject to the tool. And the students should think how to use algebraic processes for further investigations.
Algebra Study Tips
This science is complex, and it is quite difficult to recommend some multipurpose and universal methods for studying and learning it. It can be explained by the fact that the suitable methods of learning it vary from student to student. However, there are some common tips that can be used by many students, regardless of their level and abilities.
Always write down examples and notes which the teacher gives during the lesson
These notes can become real helpers when preparing for the lessons at home. Never neglect them. Remember that the teacher has studied hundreds of examples and chosen the most accurate and precise of them. It would be silly to ignore this fact.
You can also copy some notes and examples from your colleagues if you understand that someone learns this subject better than you.
Always pay proper attention
Always be focused and concentrated regardless you feel comfortable with some particular topic and understand it or not. Notice what your teacher will show you because he can show some special things and details which are important and which are necessary to be done well in order to proceed to the next topics.
Always prepare your homework assignments and do not cheat on it. Do it even if it seems to be too complicated or vice versa too easy. The home task is known as an excellent tool for repetition of the learned material and the learning of new issues. It is assigned by the teachers not just in case. It has its own reasons. You can order writing assignments online but you shouldn’t abuse it. In the case of Algebra, it may be easy to forget a direct solution of the problem, but it is not easy to forget a problem-solving process if you follow it several times.
You should do the tests and home tasks in which you have made mistakes at least one more time. You have to do easy tasks several times before you will be able to master some advanced issues. Only in this way you can prepare for the exam.
Get help from classmates or parents
If you want to achieve success, it is a good idea to involve friends or parents. It is great for both students and parents. Students feel support and parents have an opportunity to refresh knowledge about Algebra. And if you are a parent who didn’t learn Algebra issues, try to find out the basics with your child, with a book and tutorials.
If You Learn Algebra By Yourself
Sometimes there are situations in which a student learns Algebra at home by himself without the help of teachers. In this case, we can also advise something.
Watch video files and webinars
The students should look for good advice in videos and web-seminars. It is especially great if the student is a visual or abstract thinker. Online lessons in the form or videos can clarify the main ideas and transform them into small pieces using schemes and illustrations.
Many video clips on the web are short (only a few minutes long), but at the same time, they are able to cover the full range of algebraic issues. In the times of popularity of the video content using it in the scientific learning can be very helpful and interesting. It is great that there are many free lessons and videos that are available on the web.
Don’t rely on memory, understand the process
It may seem silly. But it’s true. Sometimes students have difficulties with algebraic issues because they try to memorize all rules. But it shouldn’t be like that. Students should write down the rules, but try to understand the process and the main concepts. The student should understand that the memory can fail him or her and in this situation, the student will feel helpless. And when you have many writing assignments, no one wants to be in such a position.
Focus on concepts and understanding
It is important to think conceptually. For example, let us assume that the student has learned the basics of the exponent. It means that, for example, the student knows that 23 = 2x2x2 = 8.
And in this case the student will look for the next pattern:
- 23 = 2x2x2=8
- 22 = 2x2 = 4
- 21 = 2
As we can see this exponent decreases by one and in the result, the answer is divided in half: 8, then 4, and 2. So, the student understands that every time the result will be halved. That’s why you can see how great it is when a student thinks according to particular patterns.
Let your curiosity free. Let it explore
When the student starts exploring, the most interesting things happen. So students should be encouraged for exploration in order to improve algebraic thinking.
Basic Algebra Rules
Remember the order of operations
If you are a beginner in the Algebra learning you have to study and remember the order of operations. It is one of the trickiest things so you should definitely master it. You should do all operations in the next order (from the first to the last):
- Math operations in parentheses;
The order of the operations is quite important in Algebra because it can affect the answer dramatically.
Learn negative numbers
In Algebra, negative numbers are widely used, so it's a good idea to find out and to learn how to make operations of addition, multiplication, subtraction and other with these numbers. Here you can read some common rules of using negative numbers:
- Remember that two negative signs always cancel out. Adding a negative number will be the same as a subtracting of a positive number;
- If you are going to multiply or divide two negative numbers, this operation will give a positive answer;
- You should remember that a negative number lies in the same distance from zero as the positive number, but in fact, it in the opposite direction;
- If you are going to multiply or divide a negative number and a positive number, this operation always gives a negative answer;
- If you are adding two negative numbers, this operation will make the number more negative.
Clearly, distinguish numbers and letters
If you are learning algebra, you will see not only numbers,= but also letters and symbols. They will appear in the problems, and sometimes more often than numbers. These letters and symbols are called variables. It is one of the main issues in the Algebra. But don’t be afraid of variables. Actually, they are not so confusing. Their main goal is to show that these elements are not evaluated yet, and you should find out the evaluation of these variables. The most common variables are the next:
- Roman letters: a, b, c, x, y, z;
- Greek letters: α (alpha), β (beta), etc.
- Symbols: π (pi, that is equal to about 3.14).
Look at the variables as at "unknown" numbers
As you already know the variables are not something strange. They are unknown numbers which values are unknown. It means that if you find out the values of the variables and put them in the places of the variables, they will make the equation work properly. So as you understand the main idea is to find out what the variables are.
Let’s look at the particular example. Le’s assume that we have an equation: 5x + 6 = 21.You can see that ‘x’ is the variable. It means that our main goal is to figure out the value of the variable. If we put this value in the place of ‘x’ the equation will work, two parts of the equation will be equal. So in this case, 5x = 21-6 = 15, so x = 3.
So as you can see Algebra is very useful and applied science. People can use the math skills almost in any career, and they can use it for discussion and further investigations. This science can give you an opportunity to succeed in your career to make your career promotion easier and faster. If you master Algebra skills you will do many things faster, you will be able to solve different problems. But if you still have any problems with Algebra case studies or other tasks just ask for the help an enjoy the result.