- 1). Obtain an introductory algebra book. The thinner the better, because many algebra books contain topics that are not essential to the study. The thinner books will contain the most basic topics. Consult your library or a bookstore for recommendations. Some quality algebra texts can be found in the resources section of this article.
- 2). Select the topics you will study. Browse through the table of contents of your algebra book and select the following topics: numbers or arithmetic review, lines, polynomials and functions. These are the basics of algebra that build most of the material of higher-level mathematical fields.
- 3). Study each section, one at a time. Write down the important vocabulary, formulas and algorithms (steps for solving common problems and equations) on notecards.
- 4). Review your notecards every night. Quiz yourself using these notecards. If after quizzing you feel you understand the concept on the notecard, put that notecard in a different place (for example, if you keep your notecards in your desk drawer, place the well-understood notecard in a different drawer). If you do not understand the concept well, return the notecard to its original place. Every night, review the notecards that you have not moved to a new place. Review the notecards in the new place every week. This technique is called spaced repetition. Combined with studying at night, it allows you to optimize your memorization efficiency.
- 5). Take the assessment tests for each section. As you finish one section, take the assessment test at the end of that section (all algebra texts contain such a section). Score your assessment test, retaking it a week later if you score less than 70%.
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