Most helpful positive review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Very easy to understand, gives you solid foundation for Algebra 1
on April 3, 2011
I'm actually going to review the book for you and not the experience of buying it.
What I liked about this book was the layout. There are many examples in each section, plenty of practice problems, chapter tests, and cumulative tests after each chapter. The answers to the odd problems are in the back so you can check your work. The language is also very easy to understand and helps to drive home each of the concepts.
What I really liked about this book was that each chapter has an "applications" section with word problems related to that specific chapter. This makes the math more interesting because you can see how it is used in areas like business, arts, consumerism, nutrition, history, physics, and others. There might be temptations just to do the regular problems and skip the application section but I recommend you work through them as they will help you to really understand the concepts. Word problems really make you think and you should practice as many as you can.
Also, there is sufficient space within the pages to work out most of the problems in the book. There are some advanced problems that require you to use a notebook but I like the fact that I can write in the book as it saves a lot of time.
I've seen standard math books that are very dry and boring and very light on explanation. This book has so many explanations and each step of the explanation is clearly shown. For example, one page has about two problems completely worked out. There was never a time where I asked myself "How did they do that?" The book is more colorful than standard high school math books and this makes it look less intimidating and helps with the flow and structure.
I am currently working through the McDougal-Litell Algebra Book 1 text and I feel that this prealgebra text has prepared me well.
The book has 10 chapters but you can skip the last three or four as they are not really important for prealgebra. I stopped at chapter six which is first-degree equations. The other chapters are measurement and proportion, percent, geometry, and statistics and probability. If you can completely understand first-degree equations, you are ready for algebra 1. The last four chapters are very useful and fun but you don't need them immediately for algebra 1. I will come back to them in the future. The book is not too hard but it is not too easy either. I don't think you should buy a really hard and confusing prealgebra book because you can always get a harder algebra 1 book. The point of prealgebra is to completely understand the fundamentals and this book will do just that.
Math is sequential, if you don't get prealgebra concepts, you will not magically understand algebra and certainly nothing more advanced in the future. This is a great book to learn the foundations. Math is not hard, you just have to know all the rules. This is an excellent book to begin learning the rules. I highly recommend it because it has helped me tremendously and I no longer am intimidated by math.