
Algebra PreAlgebra and Basic Algebra Math Forum 
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August 6th, 2008, 02:24 AM  #1 
Newbie Joined: Aug 2008 Posts: 1 Thanks: 0  I need help ASAP
Hello I'm sure some of you will laugh and get a kick out of this but I need help pretty bad here. I am a high school drop out and its been nearly 9 years. I dropped out in my freshman year so things I learned are very fuzzy and there was a lot I didn't learn. I am currently studying for my GED and coming upon the math section I realized I know diddly about algebra. I have no clue as to where to begin. I don't know what a means or x or all the funny little symbols If some one could give me a hand with this I would greatly appreciate it Thank you 
August 6th, 2008, 05:26 AM  #2 
Member Joined: Jul 2008 From: Minnesota, USA Posts: 52 Thanks: 0  Re: I need help ASAP
In your case, I would suggest finding a few problems to start working on and coming here when you need help. The best way really is to just work through this stuff. However, to start you off: Concerning this letter "x" We use x all the time as a sort of symbol for a number. It's nothing tricky, it just stands in for a number the same way, for example, the word "price" stands for the dollars and cents price of an item when you talk about buying several of an item. In stead of always saying "price", "length", "weight", etc., we simply abbreviate, usually with x and y, but certainly any letter is generally fair game. For example, you know that to find the area of a room, you would take the width (in feet) times the height (in feet). In terms of algebra, one might just write A = w·h or simply A = wh (mathematicians are so lazy we don't even usually write in the 'x' for multiplication, we just put a dot, or even nothing at all). Both of these are the same statement and mean exactly what I said previously in plain English. So, if A = w·h, and h = 5 and w = 4, what is A? I hope this helps a little, please tell us if this is not what you are looking for. Nathan 
August 6th, 2008, 07:14 AM  #3 
Senior Member Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 895 Thanks: 0  Re: I need help ASAP
Your ability to express yourself indicates intelligence and maturity enough. Surely then, you must realise that such a lack of sufficient background CAN NOT be resolved here, despite any good intentions. You might as well ask someone here to spend the time necessary to teach you a foreign language from scratch. Solution: FIRST, and ONLY find a suitable school and/or tutor and/or textbook. Having not found the time when younger, you must pay for it by finding the time now to get, and firmly master those absolutely necessary first steps ..which is still very timeconsuming. You will need a very organised approach and study, and the time to practice and assimilate the basics. I taught high school. More than one of my students was "mature". One was a woman 48 years old, starting again in grade 11. She [and you] had one big advantage, that maturity, and attitude ...and a definite goal. She sat through the classes as did all the other younger students, who respected her for it. She aced the exam, and went on to further study then to become the nurse she always had wanted to be. Some students complained about the 5 homework assigned problems. She'd do them, then ask for more. It's possible. Just do it right the first time. Your choice of return to school/tutor/self teaching depends on time and money. I'd go to my local MP [or your local equivalent government employee] and ask for assistance. They dare not refuse to help, even if just pointing in the right direction. I was unemployed, and a bit desperate, raising a family, and now with income well below the still incoming bills. One MP was on the radio touting how he was improving employment ...while I was looking at four walls. I wrote to him. End result? I was enrolled in a computer course at a local college, fees payed, and unemployment extended throughout. While there, I got the job I wanted, and didn't complete the course, but all ends well. All I'm saying is ...make sure you go to the right people and make the right choice. Here is not a good choice with your complete lack of background. If you do start an organised study, DO come back with specific problems for assistance. It's not just letters and numbers. It's pattern and concept, and a whole language ...and more importantly, the time to assimilate ...REALLY assimilate. You need those basics. Go back to school; there are night courses, and a special school for day courses available here [Canada] for mature students. You are ultimately your own teacher, by your own effort. You just need the proper guidance ...and a HELL of a lot of hard work. 

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