Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 are difficult classes for a lot of people because of how complicated the math can be. Instead of doing a series of operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, students have to learn to manipulate terms and operations in more abstract ways. To get the right answers to algebra problems, you have to study and prepare yourself, but that’s pretty obvious. What’s not obvious is the difference between getting “an answer” and getting “the answer,” and here we’re going to explain the difference for you.

One of the key ways you ran raise your Algebra 1 grade is to always know a way to check your answer. This single rule of checking your answer on tests and homework will raise your letter grade anywhere from one to two letter grades since you will catch your mistakes more often when finding answers to algebra problems. When you finish a problem, you have “an answer.” When you have checked your answer and made sure that you are correct, then you have “the answer.” The more often you make sure that you have “the answer,” the higher of a grade you will make, and the fewer mistakes you will make in the future.

*A lot of people don’t like to check their answers to algebra problems because it takes a little bit of extra time. However, this is an indicator of something much more important on a psychological level. If you aren’t willing to put in a small amount of extra work to improve your grade when it comes to checking your answer, then that means you aren’t willing to put in extra effort when it comes to studying or doing your homework. This inability to put in hard work means that you don’t have a healthy relationship with the learning process, and that you will probably hate algebra class.*

Instead, you should push through it and put more effort into your algebra work. If you do this, then you’ll be much better off in the long run since you’ll get better results, which will make you feel better, which will lead to you working even harder. This creates a positive feedback loop that will carry you out of laziness and into success at math.