0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
I need to learn highschool level math or my employer will fire me. I'm stuck on an algebra problem in the pre-algebra section of my textbook.

26 Answers

0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
IMO, you need a tutor. You are stuck because you lack feedback. Feedback might even help prioritizing concepts and doing tasks that would make positive waves at work. Maybe there’s a local student who would take on the task at a low rate?
0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
What does high school math mean? Some people graduate not knowing algebra, some people learn calculus. How are you supposed to learn 2-4 years of material in 4 weeks? If you do not like your textbooks, why don’t you use another resource like Khan math?
0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
Based on the comments and your responses to the comments, it really doesn't sound like you need to learn high school math, you need to learn middle school algebra.

You need to get a tutor, and if you don't get one today, start looking through the help wanted ads because you won't be able to learn all of this by yourself in a week.
0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
I will be heartless. Instead of moaning about your situation in long paragraphs, how have you approached this problem? Math can be hard at the earlier stages but thinking that the book is "unfair" isn't helping YOU. So, please stop with the victim mentality. Approach this rationally with the spirit of attempting and learning.

If there is a quantity 3 and it increase to 4, what is the percentage increase?

If there is a quantity 3 apples and it increases to 4 apples, how do you calculate the percentage increase of apples?

If there is a quantity 3X and it increases to 4X, what is the percentage increase?

Putting an X in the question doesn't make it algebra. The method is the same. The problem starts with identifying the initial quantity and the final quantity.  The calculate the difference (as an increase or decrease). Then express that difference as a fraction of the initial quantity. Now multiply that fraction by 100 and you get the percentage increase or decrease. Whether it is numbers, apples or X, the method is the same. This is the ability you need to focus on - extracting the required information and applying the method to calculate this.
0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
I think you're glossing over the "three weeks to learn high school math" part. That's a small amount of time for a big topic - exactly what kind of math? Geometry? Algebra (including proofs)? Statistics? Calculus?

Did your boss give you any guidance on what to learn, or did they set you up for failure by saying "go learn years of math in 3 weeks"? Is there a test by the boss at the end?
0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
> I just don't understand why every textbook I buy has questions that require knowledge of certain topics many chapters ahead of the current chapter.

Because maths isn't as easily broken down as you're expecting. "Algebra" can't be covered in one topic - there's simple algebra that might be taught when your younger, harder algebra that is taught a bit later. You could do algebra at uni but that's not going to cover the basics like X+X=2X. There's also a lot of overlap between topics. To make maths useful in the real world you need to combine skills across all of the topics.

> Consider two squares. Square A has side length X, and square B has side length 0.8X. What is the percentage increase in area if you were to increase the area of square B to the area of square A?

The area of square A is X squared. The area of square B is 0.8 squared times X squared. 0.8 squared is 0.64, so square B is 64% of the area of square A

Edit: I misread the question, the area increases from 0.64X^2 to X^2 so the increase is 0.36X^2. As a percentage of 0.64X^2 that would be 0.36/0.64 which is 56.25%
by
0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
Sounds like a tutor could help you better. They could work with you step by step and explain "lower level" concepts as needed as well as walk you through the higher level stuff once you come across it.

I struggle with math too. I feel like it's learning an alien language. I hate it
0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
May I just ask what your job position is? I'm extremely curious in what line of work can you get a paid leave to learn HS math and why does your employer consider it necessary for a promotion.

I can help you with something in return ;)
0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
Hey OP, I feel for you. You’re in a tough spot.

One of the things that algebra does is that it allows you to apply the same math on any number.

Let’s say that you are working in a store and your boss tells you to mark all merchandise on a certain shelf 20% off. The trouble is that all the merchandise has different prices. How are you supposed to know how much to take off each price? With different prices you need to take a different amount off each piece of merchandise.

This is where algebra and percentages comes into play.

You pick up the first piece of merchandise and it’s $1. You know that you’re taking money off the price. So when you’re done the price should be lower than it was originally. Decide that you should try multiplying the price by 1 to see what happens. So you do and you get:

$1 * 1 = $1

(The * means multiplication)

That didn’t work so you try to multiply the price by 2:

$1 * 2 = $2

That’s not right. The price went up! So now you know that you need to multiply by something less than 1. You decide to try multiplying by 0.5 and get:

$1 * 0.5 = $0.50

That’s not right either. That’s half the price. Well, you know that half the price is 50% off. So you’re getting closer. Now, you have enough information to figure out how to get to the right answer.

If $1 * 1 is $1 then that’s full price or 100%.

If $1 * 2 is $2 then that’s double or 200%.

If $1 * 0.5 is $0.50 then that’s half or 50%.

So using this information you can continue guessing until you get the right number to multiply by which is 0.8. Since 100% - 20% is 80%. You would get:

$1 * 0.8 = $0.80

What you probably don’t realize is that you just did a bunch of algebra. You were performing the same math but with different numbers. You were solving:

$1 * x =

Where x was the different percentages you were trying. Here it is written again:

$1 * x = $1     (Where x is 1)

$1 * x = $2    (Where x is 2)

$1 * x = $0.50   (Where x is 0.5)

$1 * x = $0.80   (Where x is 0.8)

You probably do stuff like this everyday and don’t even realize you’re doing algebra the whole time and you probably didn’t think that it was “hard”. You probably just thought you were trying different things to solve a problem.

So now let’s solve the example… So you have all this merchandise you have to mark down to 80%. Given that we now know how to use a letter to represent any number in a math problem we can write out a general statement to find the price of all our merchandise.

If $1 * 0.8 = $0.80, then we know:

$2 * 0.8 will be 80% of $2

$3 * 0.8 will be 80% of $3

$4 * 0.8 will be 80% of $4

Instead of writing out every single price we can write:

$x * 0.8 =

Now you can stick any number you want into where x is and you’ll get the right answer.

What is rarely said is that when you’re trying to solve a hard problem you rarely get the right answer on the first try. You just need to keep trying until you find something that works. If your number is too high try changing something and see if it’s closer to what it should be. If it’s too low then change something to see if that makes it closer to what it should be.

Math can be hard because by learning math it’s training your brain to solve problems. You are literally rewiring your brain so you can think more clearly about problems and how to solve them.

I can tell you’re smart OP because of how you write and how you are trying to solve these problems. Likely smarter than you give yourself credit for. Once you figure out how some of this math works you’ll be unstoppable.

Regardless of what happens with your job keep learning math. You have the capability. I know you do! Good luck!
0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
>involves algebra for some reason

It's implying the answer is one value for any X. So if you don't want to work with variables, pick a value for X, like X = 1. Since it's supposed to work for any X, it will work for the X you pick.

> I just don't understand why every textbook I buy has questions that require knowledge of certain topics many chapters after the current chapter. It enrages me

They do not.

Try to develop a problem solving attitude instead. You're thinking you need to have a $400 power tool in order to do this thing. Well you don't have the $400 power tool,  you've got a hammer, fifty screwdrivers and a box of Legos instead. Figure out how to use the tools you have.

This is a life skill and it happens at every level of expertise. Figure out a way to get the job done even if you wish you had more funding / different people on the team / a different degree. You have what you have. More than math is being tested here.

Related questions

0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
2 answers
evanrodgers asked Jun 21
How to prepare for an exam that requires atleast an 8th grade level in math to pass? (after years of neglecting the subject)
evanrodgers asked Jun 21
0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
62 answers
VivianBala asked Jun 21
Do any of you guys dream about your math work in your head? OR just math in general?
VivianBala asked Jun 21
0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
1 answer
TEDxJAX asked Jun 21
I’m trying to find a pdf version of Haese’s Mathematics for Australia 11 Mathematical Methods. I’m in high school and would love electronic copies of this and the y...
TEDxJAX asked Jun 21
by TEDxJAX
0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
3 answers
0 like 0 dislike
0 like 0 dislike
10 answers

33.4k questions

135k answers

0 comments

33.7k users

OhhAskMe is a math solving hub where high school and university students ask and answer loads of math questions, discuss the latest in math, and share their knowledge. It’s 100% free!