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Algebra learning tips | How to study algebra for beginners | Math study tips

Mathematics or Math is one of the core subject taught in school and college education worldwide. It builds logical reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving ability among children, which help them in their future academics and professional career. Main classifications or major branches of math are algebra, geometry, arithmetic, trigonometry, and calculus.

Algebra is one of the most common topic of math, and it start from Grade 3 onwards till high school and university education. Algebra help is one of the most common math tutoring requests we receive. In this article, we will see some tips to study algebra.

How to learn Algebra

Studying algebra is very easy. This below pointers will help you understand basics of algebra, and give insight on how to plan for algebra study.

Start with number system

The first stage of algebra is getting familiar with different types of number in mathematics. Some of the examples are:

  1. Natural number
  2. Whole number
  3. Integer
  4. Decimal
  5. Fraction
  6. Rational number
  7. Irrational number
  8. Real number
  9. Complex number

All of these numbers are related to each other, for example – whole numbers are all natural number and zero. Integers contain whole numbers etc. The first stage of understanding number system to understanding relationship between them

Number operation in algebra

Once we get familiar with number system, we need to use them for different mathematical operation like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division etc. We need to understand how to do arithmetic operation with different numbers. BODMAS is the mathematic rule, which help us in solving long arithmetic containing different operators.

Handling negative numbers

Special attention need to be given in handling negative number. Most of the students make error in dealing with negative number. Remember following in dealing with negative number

  • Negative sign x Positive sign = Negative sign
  • Negative sign x Negative sign = Positive sign
  • Negative sign + Positive sign = Subtraction problem with sign of bigger number
  • Negative sign + Negative sign = Negative sign (Addition problem)
  • Negative sign – Positive sign = Negative sign (Addition problem)
  • Positive sign – Negative sign = Positive sign (Addition problem)
  • Negative sign / Positive sign = Negative sign
  • Negative sign / Negative sign = Positive sign

Dealing with unknown variable in algebra

In algebra, often we need to find the unknown variable by doing arithmetic operation on given number. This is also source of confusion among most of students, as they find difficult to imagine unknown variable, and do the required calculation. This is an important stage of developing critical thinking among student, since they need to analyze a given scenario, and create relation between different numbers, and solve to get the missing value.

Working with polynomials in algebra

Next step is to get familiar with exponents and powers, and their usage in algebra to create terms and algebraic expression. This we started created polynomials (based on number of terms) and equations to solve these polynomials.

Understanding relationship of algebra with geometry

Once we are able to create and solve algebraic equation, we also need to understand how these equations will represent in graph. For example- a simple linear equation ax+b=y is a straight line on x-y axis. Second degree equations will represent circle, parabola or other kind of geometrical figure.

End note

In this article, we have seen major topics of algebra in math subject for K-12 students. We have also given important tips to handle algebra questions. Start with understanding different types of numbers in number system. Make sure you are strong in math basics like adding, subtracting, multiplying and division.  Remember BODMAS (Full form of BODMAS is Bracket, order of , Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction). Special attention need to be given in handling negative number. Read the question carefully, and understand first before solving for unknown variable.

We hope that you find this article helpful. Please feel free to comment regarding clarification or any doubt.

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