Success in Math Occurs by Following Steps
Almost any topic you encounter in Algebra can be broken down into steps that you can use to tackle that specific type of problem. To gain mastery, use the steps and solve a group of practice problems that are similar. For example, when learning to multiply two binomials (x+2) (x+3), write down the letters F for first, O for outer, I for inner, and L for last in a horizontal manner making columns. Multiply the first terms in each binomial and put the product under the "F" column. Then, multiply the two last terms and put the product under the L column. The Outer and Inner terms are multiplied separately and then added together, thus you get the answer x^2 +5x + 6. When you recognize a specific type of problem, immediately you are reminded of the step-by-step rules needed to solve it. Finding the hypotenuse of a right triangle is easy when you understand which sides are legs and which side is the hypotenuse and give each side a letter related to the Pythagorean Theorem. Solving the problem them becomes a simple matter of substitution and solving an equation. I am convinced that everyone can succeed in math when they gain the ability to recognize a specific type of problem and apply the logical steps needed to solve it.