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### Question of the Day: Algebra 1

Mary was shopping for a new dress, and found one she liked for $48. Better yet, it was 25% off. How much did Mary pay for the dress?

$40

$30

$12

$23

$36

Mathematics is a ubiquitous subject throughout the general curriculum of studies. In addition to the progressive nature of mathematics courses (i.e., each course building on the ones that precede it), numerous other courses rely on the skills learned in mathematical studies. From chemistry and physics to the statistics needed for the social sciences, mathematics plays a key role in providing a general lexicon for research and analysis in a broad array of fields. No matter what the future plans of a young middle school or high school student, keen abilities in mathematics will play an important role in any of his or her undertakings. The foundations of these skills are set early, and an important place should be given to the early years of studies in algebra. Whether you need Algebra 1 tutoring in Orlando, Algebra 1 tutoring in Memphis, or Algebra 1 tutoring in Phoenix, working one-on-one with an expert may be just the boost your studies need.

The first year of algebra studies stands at a pivotal point in the course of the young student’s studies. For many years, he or she has likely been taking courses in some sort of arithmetic. At times, these courses may have covered some abstract topics pertinent to algebra; however, the focus for much of elementary school and early middle school is on the basic skills needed for understanding the concrete operations of arithmetical manipulations. These include various methods pertaining to the primary operations of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication to the skills used in various practical undertakings of measurement, basic data analysis, and numerical comparison. In all of these topics, the young student is primarily focused on the very practical and concrete topics that are most easily attuned to his or her lack of mathematical experience. The more abstract niceties of mathematics are still some way off into the future. Varsity Tutors offers resources like free Algebra 1 Practice Tests to help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider an Algebra 1 tutor.

When he or she begins formal algebra studies, the focus will shift to abstractions which will begin to play a much more conspicuous role in future courses—both in mathematics and other academic pursuits. Algebra I teaches the young student a number of new skills for manipulating more difficult types of arithmetic structures such as square roots and exponential powers; however, the truly important shift of focus comes in the increased work done manipulating and solving equations. Whereas much of the mathematics heretofore had been quite concrete—solving problems with definite numeric solutions—algebra I students will spend a greatly increased amount of time working with abstract variables. The basic skills of arithmetic—addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division—will now be applied to groups of variables. These skills will provide the future “grammar” that will be used in nearly all future mathematics—just as the “grammar” of arithmetic is of pivotal importance for all of the mathematical studies up to this point. In addition to the Algebra 1 Question of the Day and Algebra 1 tutoring, you may also want to consider taking some of our Algebra 1 Flashcards.

Nearly all uses of mathematics after middle school will require abstract reasoning with single and multiple variable equations. The foundations for these key skills are provided in the early years of algebra studies, especially during the critical first year when students typically learn these topics. Given that a small error at the beginning of a process can make for a large deviation at its end, it is important to pay heed to the first stages of any undertaking. Thus, it is quite critical to pay careful attention to the topics learned during the early years of algebra studies, which lay foundations for many more years of abstract mathematical reasoning.

Varsity Tutors’ free Algebra 1 resources can help as you work to develop a full understanding of its key math concepts. Every day, we post a multiple-choice Algebra I problem on our Algebra 1 Question of the Day page that you can use to get into the habit of testing your math knowledge regularly. When you select your answer, the correct one is revealed, as well as a complete explanation of how the problem can be approached and solved. Answering correctly reinforces your current knowledge, and answering incorrectly allows you to fine-tune your Algebra 1 skills. Our Question of the Day and other free Algebra 1 resources can help bring structure and efficiency to your mathematical learning.

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