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1 point

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23rd Feb 2022

I've had the same thought at different points in my math career while studying for my engineering degree, so I definitely understand the sentiment. I stared with pre-algebra at community college, worked my way up to calculus 1 and had to retake it, worked my way up to calc 3 and had to retake it, and every time I failed a math class I had the thought that maybe this is just as high as I can go.

I don't know if this is your case, but I've found that a lot of what hindered me while learning math was that so much of it is vocab and it's difficult to grasp the concept while also learning the very specific meanings of the words that are used. "The Humongous Book of..." series helped me out a lot with this, because it explains things in plain language without using the math terminology so that you grasp the concept first and then associate the vocab with what you already know. Here's a link if you're interested, just don't give up.

https://www.amazon.com/Humongous-Book-Algebra-Problems-Books/dp/1592577229

1 point

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9th Sep 2022

There are skills in algebra and skills in test taking that probably can help, especially in true false or multiple choice.

This is a very simple example, but odd X odd is always odd. Once you know that you can often eliminate some multiple choice options as a test management skill. Also, look at how points are allocated. Often you want the longer and higher skill points first and then move to lower point values.

Instructors like to repeat themselves. You'll probably see this format and know better how to study and what to master, but in math just seeing lots of variations in problems is super helpful.

https://www.amazon.com/Humongous-Book-Algebra-Problems-Books/dp/1592577229

For me, I need to see lots of problems and variations on problems. I have bought this type of book for every math class I've ever taken. I do lots and lots of problems (even the easy ones) so that I can both solve the easy ones quicker, but have more help with weird examples that maybe the book didn't have enough of.

1 point

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9th Sep 2019

1 point

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30th Oct 2017

This one : The Humongous Book of Algebra Problems https://www.amazon.com/dp/1592577229/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_yTP9zbZNSH0W6

And this one: Algebra Survival Guide: A Conversational Handbook for the Thoroughly Befuddled https://www.amazon.com/dp/0984638199/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_TUP9zb33RCXVY

Sorry for the long links.

These 2 I refer to when I forget basic stuff. Good luck.

1 point

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6th Aug 2012

I'm late to this party, but as a lot of other people have said, missing a negative sign somewhere is *not* an indication that you're bad at math. What is important in math is understanding *why* things are the way that they are. If you can look at the spot where you missed a negative sign and understand *exactly* why there should have been a negative sign there then you're doing fine. Being good at math isn't so much about performing the calculations—I mean, computers can find the roots of a quadratic function polynomial pretty reliably, so probably no one's going to hire you to do that by hand—but it's following the chain of reasoning that takes you from problem to solution and understanding it completely.

That said, there are things you can do to make yourself better at performing the calculations. Go back to basics, and I mean wayyyy back to like grade 5. A lot of students are seriously lacking skills that they should have mastered in around grade 5, and that will really screw up your ability to do algebra well. For instance, know your times tables. Know, and I mean really know and understand, how arithmetic involving fractions works: how and why and when do we put two fractions over a common denominator, what does it mean to multiply and divide by a fraction, and so on. It's elementary stuff but if you can't do it with numbers then you'll have an even harder time doing it with x's and y's. Make sure you understand the rules of exponents: Do you know how to simplify (a^(2)b^(3))^(2)? How about (a^(3)b)/(ab^(5)) How about √(3^(4))? What does it mean to raise a number to a negative power? What about a fractional power? These things need to be drilled into you so that you don't even think twice about them, and the only way to make it that way is to go through some examples really carefully and then do as many problems as you can. Try to prove the things to yourself: *why* do exponents behave the way that they do? Go out and get yourself something like this and just work through it and make sure you understand exactly why everything is the way that it is.

Feel free to PM me if you are stuck on specific stuff.

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