Algebra 2 plays a critical role in the life of high school and college students. In the United States of America, high school students are introduced to the concept of Algebra 2 after they successfully master the concepts of geometry and Algebra 1.
Algebra 2 is also used in SAT tests as well as it is commonly referred as the gatekeeper topic that is used as a requirement for graduations by most school districts around the country except Texas.
Algebra 2 is also known to help students in the following ways:
- Help develop critical thinking
- Improves problem solving ability with multiple variable
- Enhances data interpretation abilities
All the above listed things are important for students not only for successfully completing their college degree but also for building a career.
We, at TutorEye, asked 250 students to share their options about Algebra 2 and more than 70% of students categorized Algebra 2 as a hard topic.
Upon further enquiry about the details of their struggle with Algebra 2, some common reasons shared by students were:
- Combining previously learned math in varied ways
- Solving equations for multiple variables
- Memorization of a lot of pre set formulas
So, the TutorEye team has put together this blog for all those students out there who find algebra 2 hard. In this blog, we give you the tips and tricks for dealing with problems with multiple variables and having fun with the algebra 2 formulas.
Continue reading and we promise to make Algebra 2 easy for you!
Tip 1 – Master the prerequisite skills necessary for success in Algebra 2
Great people are great because they had a strong foundation on which they were able to build upon. So, if you want to do good at Algebra 2 then there are no shortcuts but there are the below skills that you need to really strengthen your knowledge on before starting on Algebra 2.
- Solving equations and inequalities
- Plugging values to an algebraic expression
- Multiplying polynomials and factoring them
- Simplifying square roots
- Using basic geometry formulas
- Simplifying radicals
- Applying functions
- Graphing quadratic functions
- Understanding of domain and range
One of the easiest ways to brush up your knowledge on the above topics is by taking an assessment test to know where you stand with your topic knowledge and then make a plan to fill the gaps. You can invest in building a library of relevant textbooks, buy online tests or just get an all in one solution like TutorEye.
We, at TutorEye, offer online math tutoring to students from K-12 as well as college level. All it takes is a few clicks and within minutes you can hire a math tutor of your choice and start working on strengthening your knowledge on the above topics. No need to buy textbooks or practice tests.
Tip 2 – Understand the relationship between multiple variables
Use solved problems to engage in analyzing the relationship between different variables. Learning how each part of the equation affects the others will not only make the learning process fun but also you will develop a strong understanding of the different ways you can approach the solution. Also discussing solved problems with a friend or a teacher can help make connections among strategies and reasoning stronger.
We have found that students find it interesting to solve problems when our tutor guides them to look for interesting relationships in the equations. Once you begin to study the patterns and relationships instead of just applying pre-set memorized formulas, you’ll probably find the topic of Algebra 2 to be far more enjoyable.
Here are a few solved example of equations with multiple variables:
Question 1: If 5 apples and 9 oranges cost $ 9.57 and 9 apples and 6 oranges cost $10.80, then how much 6 apples and 7 oranges will cost?
Explanation: Let the cost of apples be x
Let the cost of oranges be y
5x + 9y =$ 9.57………eq(1) x 2
9x+ 6y =$ 10.80…………eq(2) x (-3)
And adding them
10x -27x = 19.14 -32.4
-17x =- 13.26
x=$ 0.78, keeping this value in eq (1)
5(0.78) +9y = 9.57
9y = 9.57 -3.9
9y = 5.67
=6(0.78) + 7(0.63)
= 4.68 + 4.41 = $9.09
Question 2: x +1/x = 4, x2 + 1/x^2 = ?
Explanation: (x +1/x)^2= x^2 + 1/x^2+2
x^2 + 1/x^2= 4^2 – 2 = 16 – 2 = 14
Question 3: If x and y are natural number that x+y = 2017, then what value of (-1)x+ (-1)y?
Explanation: Let us take y = 1 (a natural number)
Then the value of x = 2016
Keeping the values of x and y in (-1)^x+ (-1)^y
= (-1)^2016+ (-1)^1
= 1 – 1 = 0
Tip 3 Build a connection between the formulas & real life situations
One trick to mastering Algebra 2 is being able to determine the relationships between the type of the problem and the formulas that can be most applicable.
Read the question carefully once and then start by converting the word problem into numbers, it is not necessary to follow the situation described in the question in the exact order. Instead, you should focus on the numbers and unknowns as well as their relationships.
Also think about the values which of the numbers are larger and which will be smaller based on the question and situation. Also, sometimes for visual learners it is simpler to draw an image or a graph to brainstorm the equation that fits the situation.
Here are a few examples of how you can build such relationships and just by reading the question in your test or exam, you can simply remember the formula you need to use in order to arrive at the solution.
- Every time you come across a question about finding the maximum or minimum possible value of something when increasing one aspect of the situation decreases another you simply use the quadratic equations to solve.
- Determining the affordability of a service with a rate or a flat fee requires you to use linear equations.
- Solve savings or loan situation questions by simply using exponential equations.
Here is a formula sheet for all topics under Algebra 2. Download it now and use it for your reference forever.
Algebra 2 is an important part of high school syllabus and also is noteworthy that success in studying these topics later helps one to study advanced math in college like Calculus. This in turn opens doors to pursuing a STEM career (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
But Algebra 2 has prerequisite classes: Geometry and Algebra 1 as well some required skills in other math topics, which if missing can make Algebra 2 hard for students.
In this blog, we talked about the top 3 challenges faced by high school students and shared three tips that can help make Algebra 2 simpler and fun to learn.