I was reading through the daily news relating to education, specifically concerning Algebra. It seems Algebra has become a major hurdle to college students even though it is considered to be developmental math. Students are struggling to understand the basic concepts and arithmetic necessary for the mastery of Algebra.

I am in no way a math major. I struggled some with math in college, mainly with Pre-Calculus. Honestly the first time I took the course I made a "D" by the skin of my teeth. I immediately re-took the course during summer school. It was a five-credit course that met during both summer terms. It was all I did that summer — I slept, ate, and lived math. I worked problems late into the night, woke up, and went to the study lab and continued to work problems until class started. By the end of the summer I had earned an "A" in the class. The other students thought I was some kind of math genius, but I wasn't. I just worked hard and practiced, and spent the time I knew it needed.

The main cause for failing Algebra is not allotting the appropriate time to digest and understand the concepts. This time requirement varies from student to student; only experience can tell you what your personal requirement is. Compound this with the busy lifestyles students live, and no wonder most students have a problem. Your time can be fragmented with extracurricular activities or even work, leaving little time to practice and understand the concepts. Again, I am not a math guru but I did learn one thing that summer: math requires practice, just like anything else.

So what can you, the struggling student, do to improve your Algebra experience? First, realize that understanding the concepts may take you longer than someone else, and that's OK. Take control by scheduling time to work on your problems — on your own, with your instructor, and with your friends as needed. Make sure your work is neat and organized; the more you work at becoming consistent in your approach the easier it will become. Don't rush it and, above all, don't panic!

It's this struggle students have that motivated us at College-Cram.com to focus initially on College Algebra. We honestly want to help students to become successful in their academic endeavors. You will find that our Algebra library boasts more than 100 Tab Tutors , Formula Solvers, and other Cramlets that provide complete step-by-step solutions to the problems and also allow you to enter your own numbers. (Hint: this allows you to check your homework.)

I have found that if you communicate with your instructors and show them that your are putting in the effort, they will sometimes give you the benefit of the doubt. Keep a smile on your face and remember you don't have to be a math major to make an "A" in Algebra.

What you do to one side you must do to the other,

Professor Cram