I cannot graduate community college, never mind university, without passing/and or showing proficiency in intermediate algebra. I took pre-algebra, failed it in 7th grade, took algebra 1 in 8th -- failed it too, and took algebra 1 again in high school and got passed on a C after having a math tutor do all my homework in class, and letting me cheat on the exam (this is a charter school, only way that could've happened). I start taking community college classes. Had an accident one year into CC; mild brain injury, migraines, tremors, anxiety. Took me 4 years, taking classes on and off, or half time due to health -- I'm at 70 transferable units (need 120 for Bachelor's degree). I tried beginning algebra, lasted 6 weeks into the class and was at 50% and wasn't getting any of the harder material, so I withdrew. They won't let me have AA or transfer until I show mastery of intermediate algebra. My brain just can't into algebra.
I told all the right people my story, and it was just a bunch of "so sorry hear about that, but our hands are tied, the rules are the rules.
So should I just throw in the towel for higher education?
Not as much as I should, maybe 4-6 hours a week. I went to the tutoring center at the college and trying getting one on one with the tutors. One dedicated me like 2 hours cause his table was empty. As soon as another student showed up, he started ignoring my questions. The student like after 30 mins and I just pretended to be busy in the meantime. After she left, the tutor told me that he thinks I have a learning disability because I wasn't getting very basic concepts and I kept asking the same stuff over and over. I stopped going to the tutoring center after that. I think 2 weeks later, I withdrew from the algebra class.
Oh shit, i thought you were studying for less than 2 a week. Thats almost always the problem with math-dummies.
I think you should maybe increase the time you spend up to maybe 7-8 hours a week, I know it sounds a bit crazy but at that point most people start getting it.
If it doesn't work and your seeing tutors along with it you might actually have a learning disability. You really are unlucky if that's the case.
I'm prepared to give it one more shot next semester with all that in mind. Despite this, I have no real hope of passing intermediate algebra. I've seen the practice tests for the intermed final. It looks like alien runes to me.
I'm considering one alternative. Because at this point, desperation is driving me insane and I'm prepared to do what it takes to get my liberal arts degree. I'm considering fraud. Getting some dude to take my algebra test for me. I'd get a fake ID for him with my name to make this scheme work. I've thought it through and through. Risk is minimal but still present.
Is there any reason why I shouldn't do that?
4-6 a week hours isn't enough. When I went back to school, I had to start from the bottom and it took me sometimes 4+ hours just to get through my math homework in one night. I spent on average well over 10 hours a week on mathematics and supplemented that time with Khan Academy videos/exercises. Math (especially for people who aren't "good" at it) is one of those things that you can't get around spending the time.
Also to add, math isn't one of those subjects where you can half ass skim the chapter, do a couple of exercises and move on. You have to start where you're comfortably confident you can solve the problems with just a pen and paper, then build on there. Read the theories, understand them to the best of your ability, then apply them in exercises until you can do them in your sleep. I can't stress enough how important repetition is. Also maybe read the background info on each theory so that you have some context for how it all fits together (because it does in fact, all fit together)
The problem with trying to learn something that you couldn't learn before is that everyone tries to teach it to you the same way, and you build up a mental block against that way of trying to think about it. It's like shouting at someone who doesn't understand English, in the belief that loudness will somehow make them understand.
Find someone who won't just do it the old way. For example, does this make sense?
Algebra is just arithmetic written sideways.
In arithmetic you would write
In algebra you write 2+2 = x
It's the same thing, sideways.
All algebra problems are meant to be thought of as horizontal lines with an X in them, with you working out what X equals. But you can rewrite them in your mind so they look like arithmetic, and might find that easier to imagine and solve.
I don´t think you should study more hours. The method used to teach clearly isn´t working and so more hours of it will just make you more frustrated and less likely to absorb the info. You should really check the course Learning How to Learn on Coursera. I think you will find it very inspiring and it might provide you with some resources on different approaches to learning math.
I have a lib arts degree. I haaaate math, but I needed some proficiency in it. So I got on khan academy and did every course I could, starting at the very bottom. Seemed to work pretty well.
So you just need algebra I? Just go through knan academy or get extra help from your teacher. I use to have a lot of trouble in calculus II until I stayed after class with my teacher a few times. One you understand the concepts it becomes easy.