# Tips to understand Major Concepts of Pre Algebra

Often the right first pre algebra class decides how students will perform in Science and Math subjects. Mathematics is not the subject of numbers but subject of concepts. Following are the major concepts of Pre Algebra that are introduced in elementary grade:

Letters and Numbers

It’s the first time in elementary grade, the student finds numbers mixed with letters. And this is where they start learning Algebra.

E.g. what number is doubled and then increased by three makes 11?

The algebraic way to write this problem statement is 2x + 3 = 11. Algebraic expression helps to find out the value of x. However, the skills lie in putting a problem statement in algebraic way and know the value of the variable.

Exponents

The exponent is another use of letters in pre algebra. They are general law that is true for any numbers.  The rule is A^3 means A*A*A .

E.g. 5^3 = 5*5*5

Another exponent rule is used with letters. Say A^n * A^m = A^ (n+m).

E.g. 5^1 * 5^3 = 5^4

Letters are used to make general rules about the concepts.

Polynomials

Polynomials are rules applied to solve complex problem stated.

E.g A farmer wants to build a pig pen has 100 feet fencing with shelter on one side and fence on three sides. What will be the shape that encloses the maximum area? What is the area of fence length perpendicular to the barn?

A (Area) = F (Fence) (100 – 2F) = -2F^2 + 100 F.

The shape would be a parabola with highest point F = 25. The maximum area comes to 25 * 50 feet.

Polynomial holds an important place in Pre Algebra as it helps to solve real life problems.

Cartesian Coordinates

It is the concept to assign an address to every point in the space and describe the relationship between them as a picture. In an above problem statement, Cartesian coordinates help to easily graph the relationship and give a picture of the relationship between the length of the fencing and the area covered by it.

Cartesian Coordinates are most important concept of pre algebra. It allows seeing important characteristics of any function.

Online Math tutoring explains these basic concepts of pre algebra wonderfully. Online Math tutor gives problem solving practice in such areas. Online tutoring is the demand of 21st century students and everyone should try it.