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If I suck at Algebra should I even pursue moving forward?

  1. Feb 29, 2012 #1

    As a kid I loved and excelled at Science. However, I was disastrous in all other subjects so moving forwards in anything other than GE was out of the question. I was lazy, got involved with computers instead, and now have a successful career in IT.

    I've spent the last six months studying all the introductory math subjects on Khan Academy. I believe I've picked up years of knowledge from this website that allowed me to enroll at my local community college and place into Math 101.

    I found all the homework simple to understand and answer correctly, however I bombed my first test. All the questions were alien. I found myself bewildered, months of studying and a solid understanding went out the window at the most basic Algebra test involving inequalities and coordinates.

    Is this normal? Do people who work in the Science field come out of High School as mathleets who excel at it thru college or is it a struggle for them too? I was planning going all the way to Calculus but I'm not sure if it's a possibility if I can't even apply Algebra.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 29, 2012 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    This is entirely normal. It's not uncommon to find math difficult at every level - even the entry level. That doesn't mean you can't succeed, it just means you have to work a bit harder at it.

    I suspect you weren't studying correctly. Did you work a lot of problems? You must, if you want to learn it thoroughly. Were you referring to the book or your notes frequently as you worked problems? If so, it means you're still a bit shaky on how to solve them.

    The Khan videos are great, but you still need to work a *lot* of problems.
  4. Feb 29, 2012 #3


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    moving forward: good. improving at algebra: good.
  5. Feb 29, 2012 #4
    When I entered community college, I placed into remedial algebra. It did me a world of good. Don't fret it.
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