You’ve been working your hardest, but you are still receiving less than satisfactory grades on your algebra assignments.
Maybe you’ve studied for hours and seem to be on the right track when you do your algebra homework, but somehow you’ve failed your last few quizzes or tests.
If either of these scenarios apply to you, don’t worry! You’re not alone.
There are countless students who have trouble mastering the challenging algebra concepts that they are learning in class. For years math has been labeled as the hardest subject, and algebra is one of the main culprits for this stereotype.
This is largely because algebra goes beyond just simple computing of numbers and also requires learners to think logically about these numbers. As such, it rightfully gives many students a difficult time.
If you’re struggling with algebra, you might feel like it will be possible to get better with this subject, especially in time to improve your grade right away and finish the school year out strong.
However, just because algebra often proves difficult, does not mean that you can’t improve your understanding of algebra quickly enough for you to turn your grade around and do well on your upcoming tests and assignments.
Here are some strategies you can use to learn algebra fast:
Even if you are a whiz at using your graphing calculator, it won’t make a difference if you don’t know what you actually need to compute.
Take the time to memorize the most important formulas that you need to use in algebra. This will help you start to recognize the steps you need to take to solve complicated algebra problems, and it will prevent you from getting lost when your teacher uses these formulas to solve equations.
Here are a few types of algebra formulas that you should commit to memory as soon as possible:
- Quadratic equations formulas
- Pythagorean theorem
- Factoring formulas
- Laws of exponents
- Polynomial formulas
By memorizing these formulas you have one less thing to worry about when you’re studying for your quizzes or trying to tackle your math homework.
Form a study group
When it comes to learning algebra, oftentimes two heads are better than one. Talk to some of your peers that are also taking algebra and see if you can form a study group with a couple of other students.
There are many benefits of working with a study group:
- Learning new tips and strategies from your peers
- Having partners to quiz you or help you make flashcards
- Running your homework answers past someone else to see if you made simple mistakes
- Receiving notes from classmates if you’re absent
- Reviewing for quizzes and tests with other people who can share advice and remind you of key concepts that will be tested.
When you work with a study group, it can help you increase your motivation and ability to learn algebra concepts for class.
Ask your teacher for help
While this might seem like a simple solution, stop and think about the last time you went to your teacher for one-on-one help.
For many students, it is daunting to approach their teacher and admit that they are completely lost when it comes to understanding the topics covered in class. However, it’s important for students to remember that their teachers want them to succeed and have both the expertise and the willingness to help them learn.
If you haven’t asked your teacher for help understanding tricky algebra concepts, make a point to do so as soon as possible.
Remember, your teacher is the one creating the assignments and quizzes that you have to do for class. They are going to be a great resource for learning how to tackle these tasks quickly.
Hire a private tutor
Working with a private tutor is one of the most effective steps you can take to learn algebra quickly.
Here are a two main reasons why private tutors are well worth the cost:
When you work with a private tutor, you will get the one-on-one attention you need to address your specific weaknesses with algebra.
Your algebra teacher likely has 25-30 other students to teach and is not able to slow down or speed up lessons based on one student’s progress. If the vast majority of the class is ready to move on to a new concept, the teacher will move ahead and encourage students who are behind to seek out tutoring, advisory periods, or other resources for additional help.
Since private tutors work with students on an individual basis, they are able to give individualized instruction and tailor tutoring sessions based on a student’s specific needs.
These tutors can assess your strengths and weaknesses and develop a learning plan to help you improve your algebra skills quickly. If you are struggling with a specific concept, your tutor will continue to work with you on this topic, presenting key information in new ways, until you have a solid grasp concept.
Private tutoring helps students make progress quickly because tutors address problems at a pace that is appropriate for each individual student, and they can provide extra attention and guidance that students aren’t feasibly able to gain in the classroom.
In a traditional classroom setting, students are not able to monopolize their teacher’s time in order to get the help they need.
With many schools having twenty to thirty students in a classroom, it isn’t possible or fair for a teacher to spend half the class working with one student. If a student needs thirty minutes of direct, one-on-one instruction to feel comfortable with an algebra skill, they will have to seek other solutions because they don’t have full access to their teacher’s time during a class period.
Students also don’t always have access to their teachers outside of school hours.
Because many teachers are willing to meet with their students before or after school to provide extra guidance and support, many students believe this is a given and take these meetings for granted. The truth is, teachers don’t get paid for this extra time, so if they make themselves available for students, it is out of kindness not because of a requirement. This means that students cannot always guarantee that they will be able to meet with their algebra teacher outside of class time.
Fortunately, private tutoring is centered around the students’ schedules and needs. If you work with a private tutor you can schedule algebra lessons and sessions when you need them most and at the frequency that works best for you. Oftentimes you can even email your private tutor throughout the week if you have questions.
This increased access means that you can ask more questions, learn more strategies, and master more topics than you would be able to by just being in the classroom.
If you want to start working with a private tutor, consider hiring one through Prep Expert. At Prep Expert, we only hire expert instructors who are not only knowledgeable about algebra but also have the skills necessary to effectively teach algebra concepts.