What Are The Challenges With Algebra For Adults?

What Are The Challenges With Algebra For Adults?
Beth Dumbauld

Learning algebra as an adult can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. There are ways that adults can overcome the hurdles that have the potential to hinder them from successfully completing a college-level algebra course. Being skilled at math fundamentals like adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing is a great start. Taking a refresher course can also help. There are different types of challenges to consider when enrolling in an adult algebra class and there are also some things to look forward to.

Why Algebra For Adults Is Easier

Beginning algebra as an adult has its advantages. The key advantage is adulthood! Grown-ups are better at reasoning than children are and have keener cognitive abilities which allow them to grasp the language of algebra quicker and memorize mathematical formulas more easily.

Here are some other advantages:

Adult students have taken algebra before. Algebra hasn’t changed. The same algebra that was studied in high school will be the algebra presented to adults in college, only slightly more advanced. Remembering the rules of algebra from high school can help adults to solve college algebra problems more efficiently.

Adults have professional experience. There are many professions that use forms of algebra on the daily basis. Some grown-ups work on construction sites, in pharmacies, and in warehouses. Measuring a room to add new flooring, measuring liquids, and calculating weights all require you to do algebra.

You manage money. The different ways that adults manage their finances enables them to learn math skills that many children don’t have. Calculating take-home-pay is one example.

Adults have many areas of their life to apply their algebraic skills and improve their lives, unlike most children. If algebra is needed in the workplace, adults are more motivated to approach college algebra with a positive attitude.

Try a college algebra course by signing up for a StraighterLine free trial.

And How It's Harder For Adults!

Yes, college algebra for adults can be challenging but by getting support from others and acknowledging the many advantages that they have, adults can be successful algebra students.

Adults can ensure their success by avoiding these major setbacks:

Bad study habits. Learning the rules of algebra is not enough to pass. Adults who study will do better. To prevent failure in college algebra, adults shouldn’t only study for memorization but also by completing practice problems.

Bad math habits. Adult students who truly apply themselves by tackling the difficult algebra problems in addition to the simple ones tend to do better in the subject. Adults who take math shortcuts and lean towards the simpler math problem are disadvantaging themselves.

Anxiety. Being too stressed about algebra can actually prevent adults from succeeding. This is because too much stress can block the knowledge retention needed to pass quizzes and exams.

Poor attitude. Approaching college algebra with a positive attitude will create room for the best outcome. Negative thinking can discourage adults - causing them to cast algebra out before they even begin. Positive, motivational thoughts can help students overcome their doubts.

Motivating Adults To Learn Algebra

Professors are there to help adult students who want to pass a college algebra class. There are many ways that professors can advise their adult students and lead them on a path to success. Most professors will tell their adult students that algebra;

●      improves one’s ability to solve problems and use logic, and,

●      is a form of math that can be used in daily life for work or a hobby.

Professors can also motivate their adult algebra students by finding ways to make algebra more appealing to them, and by determining their study and work habits to guide them more knowledgeably.

Some Final Tips For Mastering Algebra

Some adults will still need assistance passing a college algebra course even after completing all of the basic steps. These students are likely to perform better in algebra if they ask for help and take practice quizzes. After all, the brain is a muscle that performs best when it’s exercised.

So, if the thought of taking an algebra class as an adult feels overwhelming, take this information and use it – you’ll master algebra and gain confidence to continue taking college classes to earn that degree you’ve always wanted.

Start your path to a college degree today! Enroll in one of our mathematics courses.

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