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SAT Prep in Dr. Phillips, Florida

05/22/2015
Unlike basic math, algebra combines the use of letters as well as numbers to solve complicated equations. For many students, introducing letters to mathematics seems as foreign of a concept as an ancient hieroglyphic language. This means that students must learn the “grammar” of algebra, as well as the concepts. For students that need extra algebra help, here are a few pointers.

Review

Review the mastery of the basic mathematical functions before even considering advancing to algebra. Math is a subject that builds on previous knowledge, so being 100% clear on the basics is a must. For students that need a refresher before starting a new term, using a local tutoring center can be a good option. The Tutoring Center of Orlando offers many math programs that can be of benefit. 

PEMDAS

Know the order of operations and why they’re done that way. Typically, math teachers use the acronym “PEMDAS” as an easy reminder for their students:

P - Parenthesis
E - Exponents
M - Multiplication
D - Division
A - Addition
S - Subtraction

Doing an algebraic equation requires that the order of the math is done correctly. If you try to do exponents before the parenthesis, it is very unlikely you’ll get the right answer. Unlike basic math that can be memorized with enough practice, algebra is something that needs to be understood. Always be sure to understand the concepts before trying to learn the next step.

Negatives

Know and understand how to use negative numbers. Use visual number lines to draw and review the ideas and write negative numbers inside parenthesis. A few things to remember are:

Adding two negative numbers make the number more negative. The digits will be higher, but it will be further from zero giving it a lower value.
(-2) + (-3)=(-5)

Subtracting a negative number is the same as adding because the two negatives will cancel each other out.
(-2) - (-3)=1
(-2) + 3 = 1

Multiplying or dividing two negative numbers always gives a positive answer
(-2) x (-3) = 6 

Multiplying or dividing one negative and one positive will always result in a negative number.
(-2) x 3 = (-6)

Organization

Lastly but not least, write the solutions of the problems in a well organized and easy to read way. Algebra problems require multiple steps so starting a new line for each step keeps the problem well written and makes it less likely to make a careless error. When doing an equation with two sides, align the equals signs ‘=’ in the middle to differentiate which side is which. If there is a mistake by the end of the problem, having each step well organized will help to identify where and why there was misunderstanding.

Math is not usually easy and will consistently become much more difficult at higher levels. At The Tutoring Center in Orlando, we specialize in algebra help as well as other specially designed academic programs. For more information on all tutoring services please call (407) 286-2389 today.

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