What is Algebra?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Algebra is defined as “a generalization of arithmetic in which letters representing numbers are combined according to the rules of arithmetic”, which essentially means letters representing variables and equations are added onto the previous knowledge of addition, subtraction, and other concepts. For many elementary or middle school students, Algebra is one of the largest courses of math, and is the foundation of many more complex mathematics such as Calculus or Linear Algebra. Thus, for students, understanding Algebra is incredibly important. 

The Basics of Algebra:

  1. Basic functions, equations, and graphs

  2. Sequences and series

  3. Inequalities

  4. Quadratic equations

  5. Polynomial expressions

  6. Trigonometric functions

  7. Complex numbers

  8. Conic sections

  9. Vectors and Matrices

What Age Do Children Usually Learn Algebra?

Usually students learn Algebra in either 8th or 9th grade, but depending on your school and whether it’s private or public, students may start it earlier or later. While students do not necessarily need to start algebra early, it’s always to get a head start to prepare for school, especially as algebra can be incredibly confusing without strong teaching. Thus, tutoring and outside guidance can be incredibly helpful. 

Differences between Algebra 1 and 2

As algebra is one of the most fundamental mathematics courses, it is also usually split up into sections: Algebra 1 and Algebra 2. Algebra 1 is like the introduction to algebra, and mainly contains the basics: functions, equations, and variables. However, Algebra 2 is much more complex, containing complex numbers, logarithms, and maybe even trigonometry. Thus, the bridge from Algebra 1 to Algebra 2 may be difficult for many students, especially as they will have to learn a lot of new and more miscellaneous concepts. 

Tips on Transferring from Algebra 1 to Algebra 2

  • Look over the course material for Algebra 2. Make sure you or your child is prepared for some of the topics.

  • Make sure you or your child understands the fundamentals of equations and variables. If you or your child is not comfortable or fluent with Algebra 1, then they may need some extra support or help. 

  • Self study over the summer if needed, and do some simple introductory problems to see whether or not you or your child is ready. 

  • If need be, outside tutoring or classes are also incredibly beneficial and will help your student prepare.

For further help and tutoring on the bridge from Algebra 1 to Algebra 2, check out our personalized and specially designed course.

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