If you would like to give your student an academic edge in their pursuit of educational success, Varsity Tutors can set you up with a knowledgeable Pre-Algebra tutor who meets all of your needs. Generally taught to students in grade 8, Prealgebra is a course designed to equip students with the academic skills they'll need in high school math. Since mathematics is a discipline that frequently builds upon a student's existing knowledge base, a solid understanding of the concepts taught in Pre-Algebra can prepare the student in your life for their future studies.

Unfortunately, some students have a hard time keeping up with their Pre-Algebra coursework. We can help you find professional Prealgebra tutors in as little as 24 hours, so contact us today if you think that your student could benefit from working in a customized learning environment. Or, you can keep reading to learn more about how our services can prove beneficial.

What concepts can my student review during Pre-Algebra tutoring sessions?

Pre-Algebra teaches the fundamental skills that students need in high school math, so there is quite a bit of jumping around from topic to topic in most classrooms. Here are some of the topics that your student might explore:

1. Ratio, Proportion, and Percent

In mathematics, a ratio may be defined as the relationship between two numbers indicating how many times the first number contains the other. For example, a recipe calling for a 1:3 ratio of sugar to flour means that you need three times as much flour as sugar. A percent is a number or ratio expressed as a fraction of 100. This can be an effective means to illustrate a part of a larger whole rather than working in more absolute terms. For instance, you are much more likely to say "half a pizza" than express a quantity of pizza in inches.

2. Order of Operations

If a single math problem has multiple operations, order of operations dictates which order they should be performed in. Anything in parenthesis goes first, followed by exponents. Multiplication and division are tied for third in priority, so students should do whichever appears in the equation first. Addition and subtraction are also tied, and are the last operations to be performed. This order is commonly taught through the acronym, PEMDAS.

3. Square Roots and Irrational Numbers

The square root of a number is the number that must be multiplied by itself to produce the first number. For example, the square root of nine is three because 3 x 3 = 9. Negative numbers also produce positive numbers when multiplied by themselves, so -3 x -3 also equals nine. As such, -3 is also a square root of 9. If you are working with a number whose square root is not a whole integer such as 8, it may be expressed as an irrational number inside a radical sign.

4. Functions

A mathematical function is the relationship of each element of set x (denoted as x) to set y (denoted as y). For instance, if f(x) = 2y, each element of set x is two times the value of set y. All functions may be graphed to illustrate the corresponding relationship, providing Pre-Algebra students with an introduction to graphing algebraic concepts.

5. Inequalities

Finally, a mathematical inequality is the relationship that holds between two values when they are different. We know for sure that the two values are unequal, but we cannot make any further judgments regarding the value of one compared to the other without additional information. For example, the symbol < means "less than" because the value of the left side is lower than that on the right. The symbol > means the opposite. Some instructors approach this by saying that the symbol is hungry and wants to "eat" the larger number, pointing its mouth in that direction.

How can private Prealgebra tutors help my student develop a more comprehensive understanding of academic subjects?

Your student's classroom instructor would like to spend time with each student on an individual basis, but the length of the school year and the number of students each teacher is responsible for usually make this impossible. A Prealgebra tutor can supplement your student's classroom instruction to better prepare them for more advanced math classes.

For example, some students are hesitant to ask for help when all of their friends are with them. A private instructor provides a one-on-one learning environment where student questions are welcomed and even encouraged, making it easier for your student to ask for clarification before a misunderstanding can spiral out of control. Assignments can also be returned with feedback promptly, allowing your student to make any necessary corrections while the material is still fresh in their mind.

If your student has a learning obstacle resulting from not mastering concepts taught in previous math courses, a Pre-Algebra tutor provides the flexibility to go back and review those concepts before returning to age-appropriate material. For example, your student can go over multiplication tables or how to read a graph if they need a refresher on those concepts.

A professional instructor can also design Prealgebra tutoring sessions around your student's preferred learning style to improve their study efficiency. If your student is a visual learner, their instructor can use graphs, charts, and other visual aids to make key concepts easier to digest. If your student is more auditory by nature, their sessions might take on a lecture format with plenty of oral repetition to help the most important points stick. If your student is more of a hands-on, kinesthetic learner, their instructor might provide plenty of practice problems to give them practical experience working with a particular concept. There is no universally correct way to study Pre-Algebra, so let your student learn their way.

Private Pre-Algebra tutoring also allows your student to learn at their own pace. If they understand functions already, their instructor can concentrate on other concepts to keep study sessions as engaging as possible. If they're having a harder time with inequalities, their instructor can slow things down and provide additional explanations and use cases until they feel comfortable moving on.

If your student has a hard time relating to mathematics, their instructor might try incorporating their interests into study sessions to make them more engaging. For example, a sports fans might use their favorite team's statistics to generate practice problems, while another student use their siblings as the subjects of word problems to make them more interesting. Music can also be an engaging way to introduce concepts to younger students.

Your student's private instructor can also provide materials to help them make the most of independent study time. Interactive games can be a fun way for your student to gain mathematical experience. You can also receive regular progress reports on how your student is faring, so you always know where they are progressing and any areas that could benefit from a bit more work.

What are the benefits of studying Prealgebra?

National Common Core standards require students to take a standardized test on the concepts taught in Pre-Algebra at the conclusion of their grade 8 school year. If your student could improve their time management skills, their instructor can show them how to pick up the pace without rushing. These concepts also act as an important building block for future courses, potentially preparing them to pursue a career in math or science.

Why should I enlist the help of Varsity Tutors to find Pre-Algebra tutors?

If you had to find your student a private instructor on your own, you would need to make sure that any prospective teacher has a comprehensive understanding of Pre-Algebra for your student to draw on. You would also need to verify that they have the communication skills required of any great teacher. Perhaps most importantly, you need to make sure that your schedules are compatible so that your student can attend sessions with regularity.

Who has time to do all of that? Instead, let us find you a knowledgeable instructor who meets all of your academic and scheduling needs. Not only do we take the hassle out of looking for an instructor, but we also make it easier for your student to meet with them. Our exclusive Live Learning Platform is mobile-friendly, allowing face-to-face study sessions to take place anywhere with a solid internet connection. Powerful features such as video chat functionality and a virtual whiteboard ensure that sessions are just as productive as meeting up in person, giving your student a great study experience that's also incredibly convenient.

You are also in control over how many study sessions your student receives and when they take place for maximal flexibility. For example, if your student has Little League practice on the weekends, you can avoid that time frame when scheduling sessions.

Whether you're ready to get started right away or have a few more questions, please reach out to a knowledgeable Educational Consultant using the information provided below for more information. Varsity Tutors has matched countless students and their parents with certified Prealgebra tutors, and we look forward to helping you as well!