Many students feel as though they will never get through algebra, and finding the right tutor can be tedious. Perhaps you are given some names, try one or two, but it all takes up time and money and is not really working. All of this can make you feel worse about your studies than before. Thankfully, finding a college algebra tutor online for your needs is potentially quicker, easier, and cheaper than seeking out a tutor in your non-internet life. Mathematics is a common obstacle for students who are just trying to finish highschool-level courses so that they can move on to a college degree. Alternatively, sometimes mathematics are essential to degrees in the sciences, but a student finds that even though they want the scientific degree (and the career to which it lends itself) they can barely get through the math required. Whether you wish to get ahead, test out of a course, or get through a course – online tutoring offers one of the best solutions.
What Is College Algebra?
Normally, algebra itself is not technically a college-level course. (More advanced algebra courses, such as linear algebra, are college courses.) However, sometimes individuals who struggle with math graduate from high school without having passed the algebra courses required to move on to college. Colleges generally require a student to have successfully completed algebra I and algebra II or to demonstrate mathematical knowledge that proves to be equivalent.
Placement tests such as the CLEP might be used to see whether an entering college student can place out of remedial algebra courses. If the student cannot demonstrate such knowledge, then the student must pass the remedial “college” algebra course(s). Passing these remedial courses may be critical to graduating from college. This may seem harsh if you intend to specialize in a field that has nothing to do with math; however, it is understandable that a college would insist that a student successfully complete all high school-level coursework (even if it is not in the student’s intended area of focus) before allowing the student to graduate from college.
Alternatively, some students simply did not put much effort into their studies in high school but, by the time they are eighteen years old, they realize that they would like to do better. Perhaps they would even like to major in science or math, or maybe they would like an associate’s degree and certification for a technical career. This newly ambitious student might really need to catch up in math. Algebra is a likely start. Even if the student got through algebra, but just failed to do as well as he/she should have, algebra is still a great place to start reviewing and honing skills – because algebra is foundational to more advanced math subjects. Algebra does not go away: it is important to geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus (and also calculus, which is a college-level course). Students who got through algebra I but somehow hit a roadblock later, whether it was in algebra II or one of the other high school math courses, can probably benefit from honing their algebra basics, because of the interconnected nature of these math courses.
You might wonder why algebra is so special. Aside from its involvement in more advanced math courses, algebra is one of the four big categories of mathematics. The others are number theory (the math you learned in elementary school, arithmetic), geometry (the study of shapes), and analysis (mathematical study of change). Algebra is the study of mathematical relationships – most often involving variables, or values being represented as symbols instead of exact numerical values – and it is essentially the same math that you learned in elementary school being applied in a more abstract way. Graphing of values is used to demonstrate mathematical relationships in algebra. While algebra I students generally only need a scientific calculator, algebra II students need a graphing calculator (a scientific calculator with graphing abilities).
Reasons to Tackle Algebra
As stated above, algebra is one of the basic subcategories of mathematics and it is critical to understanding geometry or calculus. Therefore, if you get out of school without it, you will have missed out on more than you might realize. Most four-year colleges look favorably on students who have even gone beyond pre-calculus and taken at least part of college calculus in high school. Therefore, if you are interested in a bachelor’s degree, it will be almost impossible without algebra and, if you do not solidify your algebra skills, you will struggle in high school math, even if your goal is to just get it over with and move on to a non-math field.
If you are interested in a math or science major, algebra skills will always be relevant. There are even some areas of biology and chemistry where algebra comes into play. Physics and engineering are impossible to pursue without mastering algebra. Algebra is an implicit prerequisite for computer science: computer coding itself may not require algebra, but computer science involves solving problems; these problems frequently apply algebraic thinking, if not explicit use of algebra. In fact, basic computer science would be a struggle without high school algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. (Often, there is no high school trigonometry course itself; rather trigonometric ideas are introduced throughout algebra and geometry courses.) The bottom line is that, while algebra has always been a staple of high school coursework, it may be growing in importance. Thankfully, finding a good college algebra tutor online for a reasonable price is easier than ever.
Preply.com Is the Ultimate Site for Online Tutoring
Preply.com is an online tutoring website. It specializes in language learning but also offers tutoring in almost any academic subject. Preply has tutors who speak almost every language and can come from anywhere on the globe. For example, whether you want to learn the French language or you are a native French speaker living in America who would like to be tutored in a difficult subject (such as algebra) by someone of your native tongue, Preply can potentially fit your need. While most of the tutoring subjects are academic, including test preparation – the site also has tutors for hobbies (such as Pokémon GO). Therefore, even if Preply does not yet have a tutor in a particular area – it very well might in the future – the site’s structure is very open. As long as a tutor is effective and fair, he/she is part of the Preply community.
Preply’s structure is intuitive and flexible. Whether you are seeking a college algebra tutor online for remedial work or personal study help, all you need to do is search for tutors and use the selection categories of subject (here, algebra), times available, tutor’s place of birth, and price range. Preply also uses artificial intelligence (AI) methods to rate tutors and generally the most highly rated tutors are listed first. Generally, sessions are performed over Skype, but if a tutor is located nearby, Preply can be used to manage the schedule and payment of an in-person tutor, as well.
Tutor listings also give all of the languages individual tutors can speak and rates their proficiency in each. It is easy to contact tutors about any questions or concerns before or during the tutoring process. Preply’s policies for missed or interrupted sessions are fair to tutor and student alike. It is even possible for tutors and students to contact each other and work out an agreement about missed sessions that is more lenient than the site’s default 4-hours-notice policy.
The tutor is welcome to use any approach that works for the student and the subject matter. It is even possible for a tutor to post homework for a student; therefore, Preply tutoring can be homework/study help, or it can be almost like a class in and of itself. Because Preply is a worldwide pool of tutors working online, a student can find tutors who are available at times otherwise unlikely, and students are more likely to find a good tutor at a lower price. The language options are a bonus for students from other countries trying to succeed in the American education system.
It Is Ultimately About You
A tutor cannot solve all of your problems – you still have to work hard and think for yourself to get past obstacles. However, a tutor is responsive to you and you alone, and so, as long as you have good communication with your tutor, he/she will not get ahead of you. Teachers in a classroom have to keep going or, at least, going with the majority of the class. With a tutor, you are the majority, so take advantage of that. Use it as an opportunity to break out of the helplessness you feel in the classroom, and realize that you are in control and your hard work might pay off more than before.