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### Question of the Day: Algebra II

Solve the equation by **completing the square**:

If you just finished a course in Algebra I, you may now be preparing to face your next challenge in Algebra II. Or, perhaps you are further along into your Algebra II course, but appreciating that your preparation in Algebra I was not adequate. No matter with how much success you met in Algebra I, Algebra II offers you a new chance to develop your mathematical acumen. Whether you need Algebra tutoring in Westchester, Algebra tutoring in St. Louis, or Algebra tutoring in Tucson, working one-on-one with an expert may be just the boost your studies need.

There is no doubt that the principles introduced in Algebra I remain prominent as one progresses academically. Solving functions, recognizing domains and ranges, manipulating expressions, and all of the other skills developed in Algebra I are critical to success in a variety of other classes. This fact is probably most directly true in Algebra II, as it directly builds on what you started in Algebra I. Algebra I helped you begin to learn the language of reality. Mathematics is the code in which the universe is written. You learned how to manipulate mathematical expressions that govern the movements of things as large as planets and as small as atoms. Varsity Tutors offers resources like free Algebra II Practice Tests to help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider an Algebra II tutor.

Algebra II will assume you learned well the material in Algebra I. For instance, you may have been introduced to basic mathematical expressions, and now you’ll be asked to graph a given expression and recognize it as logarithmic. You may be asked to apply familiar algebraic principles to everyday concepts like interest earned on a bank account.

Clearly, success with any of these tasks demands that you have a firm conceptual understanding of basic algebraic principles. If you find yourself struggling, developing a conceptual understanding of the ideas in Algebra II is especially critical. Just moving through the motions of solving equations, graphing, or factoring using rote memorization will not help you achieve the long-term retention you need to be successful in courses that build on material you learn in Algebra II.

Even if you’re a top student, you want to be careful not to lose interest and start to fall behind. Your top scores reflect an ability that should be cultivated and enhanced with further exploration of the concepts in Algebra II. In addition to the Algebra II Question of the Day and Algebra II tutoring, you may also want to consider taking some of our Algebra II Flashcards.

Algebra II offers the perfect opportunity to develop your critical thinking skills. One of the major goals of the class is learning how to dig deeper and visualize the real meaning of abstract mathematical expressions. Consider how much more profound your appreciation of a mathematical expression can become when you see it plotted on an X-Y axis.

Consider that this graph . . .

. . . and the expression are expressing the same mathematical relationship of bacterial growth over time. It is easy to predict what might happen to the size of the bacterial colony over time looking at the graph. However, the equation might leave you confused.

Enhancement of your ability to fundamentally manipulate expressions, depict them in different ways as in the above example, and develop of your mathematical intuition are all critical skills you can take from Algebra II. By developing your capacity for critical thinking and reasoning, you can gain skills that not only can serve you well now, but can help ensure success in a variety of later courses.

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