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Studying Interest In Mathematics

  1. Dec 10, 2016 #1
    This is my first post on the forums, Hello! my names Tim, nice to be on here!

    I will keep this as short as possible. In high school, I hated math and loved science. Its a story I hear often. I was bad at math, or maybe it just wasnt introduced to me correctly. It took a lot of soul searching after highschool, but along the way my passion for science, particularly physics has been rekinkled.

    I am interested in learning mathematics, Algebra and up. I plan to eventually go back to school but in the mean time, Id like to learn as much on my own. What is the best way to teach yourself Algebra and up? I want to relearn everything because I did not pay attention in high school, to be frank...

    I have a few Algebra 1 books Ive been skimming, I figured thatd be a good place to start.. go ahead and make fun of me if you want to. I am just trying to learn. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2016 #2


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    Welcome! No one should make fun of you for trying to learn, that's why we're all here. In addition to looking at your old textbooks, you might give the Khan academy a try. It has a full range of math lessons online, and they are free. Good luck, and don't hesitate to come back here with questions.
  4. Dec 10, 2016 #3
    Thank you! I appreciate it. It can be intimidating trying to figure this stuff out alone, Im glad I have this forum as a new resource. Im checking out Kham Academy now!
  5. Dec 10, 2016 #4


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    Hello Tim, welcome here. There exist some very good tutorials on self-studying mathematics - and algebra in particular - on Physics Forums, written by this author. (The link lists all his articles and tutorials on PF, but the ones that are about self-studying should be apparent.) You are recommended to have a look.
  6. Dec 11, 2016 #5
    Thank you so much!
  7. Dec 11, 2016 #6
    Khan academy is a god-sent. So helpful, thank you again!
  8. Dec 11, 2016 #7


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    Pick one or two of the Algebra 1 books you have which you think are good. Do not just skim them/it. Study from it thoroughly. Treat the material the same way you would if you were attending an in-class, in-seat class. Read the chapter sections in order, and reread to try to understand; try to solve or answer the examples yourself as far through as you can before looking at the solutions. Do the exercises in each chapter section. Move on to the next section; and keep going this way until you finished the chapter sections which constitute a course on Algebra 1.

    You can look at some sources on the internet as you go in order to find help in understanding, or also ask questions for help on this physicsforums or other online forums which you believe might help. MOST of your study should be from your chosen book and doing the exercise problems in it.

    Algebra 1 done like that might be a 4 to 5 month process. Once done, rest for a few days and then move on to College Prep. Geometry, or Algebra 2. After those, move on to Trigonometry.

    You may consider enrolling at a community college to study these courses for credit.

    If you are really weak at basic arithmetic, then you could have great trouble trying to learn Algebra 1 on your own. You could either try to study just basic arithmetic first, or try a Pre-Algebra textbook or course.
  9. Dec 11, 2016 #8
    Thank you! im doing just that and I am going to community college in this spring.. I wanted to be as prepared as possible ahead of time. appreciate the advice!
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