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**Psych Girl****Member**- Registered: 2006-10-18
- Posts: 1

No matter how much I study and how many equations I practice, algebra won't sink in. I nearly always get the answers wrong.

I don't know what to do any more. I can collect like terms, expand expressions, factorise (but it's harder)... quadratic expressions, indices, surds... are impossible.

I can never find x. I can never do anything with the denominator. Fractions confuse me. Negative numbers are a booby trap

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**polylog****Member**- Registered: 2006-09-28
- Posts: 162

Can you give some examples of specific questions which you don't like or don't get? We'd be glad to explain anything !

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**MathsIsFun****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-01-21
- Posts: 7,626

Algebra is like solving puzzles: you need to find a way to solve each one. But there may be many ways - in fact any method you can think of is fine so long as it works.

In a way it is like a video game where you have to get somewhere by running, jumping or finding secret doors - it may look hard to begin with, but it is actually fun once you start learning how to do it.

And once you have solved the first level your teacher is kind enough to give you a harder level to solve!

So the good algebra-solver has a bunch of "tricks" that they have learned to use.

A very simple example:

Puzzle: x + 6 = 8

Subtract 6 from both sides: x + 6 - 6 = 8 - 6

Calculate: x + 0 = 2

Answer: x = 2

But that is the "long" way to solve, and most people know that you can move the "+6" to the other side by making it a "-6" like this:

Puzzle: x + 6 = 8

Put 6 on other side: x = 8 - 6

Answer: x = 2

That would be the equivalent of "walking" in a video game.

So, just try to remember each "trick" you learn, and then when you see a new puzzle, just think "what tricks do I know that could help me out here"

Honestly it becomes fun after a while once you get the hang of it.

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..." - Leon M. Lederman

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**polylog****Member**- Registered: 2006-09-28
- Posts: 162

You can always ask people on this site for help, some of us find it fun.

And yes I've had some lousy teachers myself in the past.

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**Toast****Real Member**- Registered: 2006-10-08
- Posts: 1,321

My teacher surfs the net and talks sport during maths class, so I can't really rely on him either xD

Anyways, all of us here would be glad to help you with any problems you have.

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**MathsIsFun****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-01-21
- Posts: 7,626

Toast wrote:

My teacher surfs the net and talks sport during maths class...

Not good.

But then again, one of the best math professors I had loved to chat about everything during class. But his notes were just excellent and he had such a clear view of things that he inspired me to learn.

A true mathematician, too. I went to his office once and he wasn't there, but I met him on the stairs coming back. I told him I had just been to his office and he said "ah ... was I there?" ... like he meant it!

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..." - Leon M. Lederman

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**mahmoudaljamel****Member**- Registered: 2006-09-03
- Posts: 18

Hi

I strongly believe that doing "good" in maths is a matter of love !!

if u love ALGEBRA u'll do "good"

I believe also that loving maths is not related to the material itself!!, in someway its related to the atmospher surrounding it , the teacher is the first and most important factor

To solve ur problem , take these advises:

1. Don't tel urself that u have a bad relation with algebra and u will never reach the right answer...tell urself always and laudly that ur good and algebra is a nice friend

2. Start from the zero level and memorize all the definitions and rules in ur way , u can use this site to start with

3. Always use ur pencile and papers in solving a problem , don't rely on ur eyes alone.

4. whenever u have a wrong answer , go back and solve a gain after knowing the right answer.

If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got

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**MathsIsFun****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-01-21
- Posts: 7,626

Excellent advice mahmoud!

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..." - Leon M. Lederman

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