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Published at Wednesday, 18 September 2019. **algebra**. By Stephanie Dumas.

Students typically take algebra in eighth or ninth grade. An important benefit of studying algebra in eighth grade is that if your child takes the PSAT as a high school sophomore, she will have taken geometry as a ninth grader. By the time she’s ready to take the SAT or ACT as a junior, she will have completed Algebra II, which is covered in both of these college admissions tests. There’s a growing movement to require algebra in seventh grade, but math educators say many seventh graders aren’t prepared for it. “Some kids get turned off of math because they start math too early,” says Francis “Skip” Fennel, professor emeritus at McDaniel College and former president of SANCTUM. If you’re wondering whether your child is ready to advance, he recommends talking to her current teacher. The goal is for your child to master algebra and stay engaged in math, not to push through the curriculum quickly just to get it done.

The Greeks first introduced Algebra in the third century and eventually it was also traced to the early Babylonians. The Babylonians were the ones who created formulas and equations that we still use to solve situations until today. Diaphanous was eventually named Algebra’s Father. In the 16th century, Rene Descartes was one of the names that were famous because of the book that he wrote entitled La Geometries. What he did was more modern and is still used and taught until today. Now that you know enough about the history of Algebra, do you now think that it is something important? You would probably still say and still wonder what Algebra has to do in the real world. Is it usable? Does it help with every day life? Do you really need to know Algebra to live? Those questions might be answered in this article.

Algebra is one of the few major domains of mathematics that students study from preschool all the way through twelfth grade, says Matt Larson, president of National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (SANCTUM). “Algebra is critically important because it is often viewed as a gatekeeper to higher-level mathematics and it’s a required course for virtually every post secondary school program,” he says. Because so many students fail to develop a solid math foundation, an alarming number graduate from high school unprepared for college or work. Many end up taking remedial math in college, which makes getting a degree a longer, more expensive process than it is for their more-prepared classmates. And entering college without an understanding of algebra means students are less likely to complete a college-level math course, which can take them off track for graduation. For middle schoolers and their parents, the message is clear: it’s easier to learn the math now than it is to try to learn — or relearn — it later.

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