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How to Do Well in Algebra

Updated on January 19, 2015
Algebra Help
Algebra Help | Source

Tips for Mastering Algebra Problems

In studying algebra or mathematics in general, there is a general approach which I would like to refer to as the “Golden Rule” for mastering math and scoring well on any math test. While you have to study and memorize most non-mathematics courses such as biology, history and so on --- with algebra for example, once you study the fundamentals and formulas that are required to work through any algebra problem you just need to learn to apply them by constantly working lots of algebra problems on a daily basis. The following 4 key approach are highly recommended:

1.Apply The Golden Rule For Success

If you want to do exceptionally well on any algebra math test, you have to start practicing as early as possible using the “Golden Rule”(which is simply spending twice the amount of time you have spent in the class room learning to solve a particular set of algebra problem practicing those same problems) after the first day of lecture. In other words, if each session of your math class last for 2hrs, you should spend at least two times that amount of time practicing math problems. If for example, a student attends math lecture two times per week and say each math session last for 1.5 hrs, he/she should devote at least 6hrs (2x1.5hrsx2) weekly to practicing math.

2.Spend At Least One Hour Each Day

The best way to do this is to spread those 6 hours across the week or in other words, set aside at least 1hour each day for practicing algebra. If you find yourself stuck on a particular problem, carefully go over or revise your computation just to make sure you didn’t miss any of the steps or do any wrong calculation. It’s easy to make calculation errors so watch out for them! Always make sure you go each math problem step by step --- checking for calculation errors, because a calculation error in one step of any algebra math problem can result in the final answer being wrong.

3.Try to Avoid Wasting Time

If you are still stuck on a particular problem after a few attempts to solve it, don’t waste anymore time on this problem. You should place a check mark next to it and move on to another problem. If you have a study partner which I highly recommend, call that person up or try to meet with him/her, because that individual might be able to give you some insights into solving this problem. If neither of you are able to solve this problem, take this problem to your math teacher so that he or she can point out your mistakes and leads you to the correct approach. Once you stick to this study approach, it’s a guarantee that you will be well pleased with your performance on any algebra math test.

4. Start Practicing Early

I must warn you again, when preparing for any algebra math test, you can't wait until the last moment to start studying or practicing algebra. It's best to start practicing what you have learned in class as soon as possible, in particular when the material is fresh in your brain.

Once you start practicing at that point, you will be able to get that topic out of the way as soon as the possible so that you can be ready to tackle the next topics to come. at this point, all you need to do is to spend less time on the topics you have already mastered and more time on those you need to master.

Don't wait until the night before the exam to start cramming formulas or literally burst your brain trying to figure out how to do a particular math problem you should have already mastered. You should only be spending a few hours practicing. Staying up late will only cause you to get less sleep. If you don't get enough sleep your brain will practically shut down while you are doing the exam. If you do this, you will not remember most of what you have already learned. As a result, you will do poorly on the exam.


To summarize, studying for an algebra math test involves a series of simple steps. First you have to make sure you learn the basic rules and formulas and how to apply them as early as possible. The next step is to keep solving math problems daily. As you master new problems, revisits and review old problems. Most algebra math books provide answers to odd questions, so you can always check your answers. Always make sure you get a good night rest the night prior to the test. Don't forget to apply the 2:1(Golden Rule). See other algebra help or tips in the form of videos, charts,tables etc. at

Copyright(C) I. McFarlane 2012

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