Algebra DeMYSTiFieD, Second Edition
Book Preface
By working through this book, you will learn algebra skills that are necessary for just about any high school or college math course. This book has two features that most other math books do not. One of them is that this book presents only one idea at a time. This allows you to gradually master all of the material. The other feature is that the solutions to the problems in the examples and practice sets are complete. Usually, only one step is performed at a time so that you can clearly see how to solve the problem.
Because fractions and word problems (also called “applications”) frustrate students, this book covers these topics with extra care. We begin with very simple, basic fraction operations and slowly move into more complicated fraction operations. Whenever a new algebra technique is covered, an entire section is devoted to how this technique affects fractions.
Even though two entire chapters are devoted to word problems, we develop one of the most important skills necessary for solving word problems right away. In Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, we learn how to translate English sentences into mathematical symbols. In Chapter 8, the first chapter that covers word problems, we begin with easier word problems and then we learn how to solve many of the standard problems found in an algebra course.
You will get the most from this book if you do not try to work through a section without understanding how to solve all of the problems in the previous practice set. In general, each new section extends the topic from the previous section. Once you have finished the last section in a chapter, review the chapter before taking the multiple-choice quiz. This will help you see how well you have retained the material. Once you have finished the last chapter, review all of the chapters before taking the multiple-choice Final Exam. The Final Exam is probably too long to take at once. Instead, you can treat it as several smaller tests. Try to improve your score with each of these “mini-tests.”
If you are patient and take your time to work through all of the material, you will become comfortable with algebra and maybe even find it fun!
Rhonda Huettenmueller
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