Elementary
algebra is the most basic form of algebra. It is taught
to students who are presumed to have no knowledge of
mathematics beyond the basic principles of arithmetic.
In arithmetic, only numbers and their arithmetical
operations (such as +, −, ×, ÷) occur. In algebra,
numbers are often represented by symbols called
variables (such as a, n, x, y or z).
[Adapted from Wikipedia
CCBYSA license]
Why do so many people dread/fear algebra?
The
fear or dread of algebra is not an inborn
trait, but rather a learned response. Even
before encountering the most elementary bit
of algebra, we have learned to fear and
mistrust it. How? From the negative comments
and examples of our peers, our parents, the
general public, and (yes) our teachers. It's
little wonder that so many people do so
poorly with the subject when they get caught
up in a downward spiral of negativity and
selffulfilling prophecy.
Algebra isn't inherently difficult and
weird. So making friends with the subject
is more a personal head game than
something the gods have ordained as a
means for tormenting our young.  DLH
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Algebra
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College Algebra
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One thing
that can be confusing about studying algebra is the
various ways that educators and publishers name
courses and textbooks:
 Algebra I and Algebra II
 Beginning Algebra, Intermediate Algebra,
Advanced Algebra
 College Algebra
For example, Algebra I and II are much the
same as Beginning and Intermediate Algebra.
College Algebra covers topics included in all
the others, but is presented at a much more
rigorous level.
