## Let’s Explore Algebra

It is an area of mathematics that use letters in replacement of numbers to derive results for a given situation. It is this generalization that often frightens many and quivers some. topics of algebra extend by working through simple tasks such as factoring polynomials and eventually progressing on to finding the inverse of a matrix. Most individuals start to study Algebra by adding, subtracting, reducing and simplifying fractions. They then move on to understanding equivalent fractions, finding ** Least Common Multiples (LCM)** and ** converting fractions to decimals **.

## Help!!! Exponents, Radicals and Graphing on the Way…

There are many another advanced subjects. To start off with there are powers. An exponent is the tiny number placed as superscript to a number or algebraic expression. An example is (x + y)^{3} where the 3 is the power and refers the power to which that number is exponentiated. The above algebraic expression is read as, x plus y to the third power. While working with powers you will oftentimes come across exercises that require you to add, subtract, multiply and divide . If you pick up the basic principles, you will soon get down to working with rational and negative powers and if you think those are not challenging enough, hopefully radicals will spin your head. A radical, simply put, is the undoing of an exponent. Radical expressions are shown by the symbolic representation “V” and when placed next to number 4, it is read as square root of 4, which is equal to 2. The contrary exponential equation is 2^2 which is read, 2 to the 2nd power, and equals 4. Equally with exponents, radical expressions can be added, subtracted, multiplied and divided. Radicals can be converted into powers and powers back into radicals. If you find that powers and roots don’t really stimulate your interest, you could move on to graphing. Start with graphing straight lines and defining if the line is horizontal or vertical or something else. Does the line have an **x-intercept** or a **y-intercept**? Can you find the slope of the line? After you master graphing lines, a whole world of circles, parabolas and hyperbolas awaits you!

## Help is Available

While you are learning algebra if the terms and concepts seem too much to handle, relax and take a break. Did you know that there are many resources out there that can help you master complex systems of inequalities, quadratic formulas and polynomials. Look for math tutors or software packages that will walk you through stepwise process on how to solve any problem. Know that frustration is not your only friend because any of these instruments can assist you become an algebra guru in no time.

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