Algebra finds itself in an interesting place within mathematics. It rests between basic arithmetic and higher level mathematics. This is not to say it does not have the breadth and depth of calculus and trigonometry. On the contrary, algebra is a world unto itself with its own practical rules, brilliant theories, and rigorous applications. Algebra has, in some form or another, been applied in ancient Egypt, Greece, Babylonia, India, China, and Greece.
It was not until the circa 9th century that Muhammad ibn-Musa al-Khwarizmi canonized the formulas into book form and coalesced Algebra into a more sophisticated and accessible structure. The term Algebra came from the Arabic word 'al-jabr', roughly meaning 'placing together broken parts'. It is not difficult to see algebra as that instrumental 'glue' between arithmetic and higher math; as strands transcending time and nations until al-Khwaraizmi tied them together, and as the fundamental concept as to how algebra itself functions.
Algebra is used in many professions including science, business, and encryption services. It stands as a math for all reasons.
As François Viéte, the 16th century French mathematician and co-founder of modern algebra pronounced: Algebra will leave no problem unsolved. At the very least, we would like to think he is correct during your finals.
Webmath is composed of many math "fill-in-forms" into which you can type the math problem you're working on. Linked to these forms is a powerful set of math-solvers, which can instantly analyze your problem, and when possible, provide you with a step-by-step solution, instantly.
The name Purplemath says it all. If it does not, it might mean a well rounded exploration in all things algebraic. This is worth a look. An interesting page called Formatting Math As Text shows how to type math when e-mailing or posting questions on tutoring forums. (You also are given a tutorial on how to compute your grade). Ther are a number of other useful sites found under Site Reviews.
For the do-it-yourselfer, Algebra Calculators are quite useful. In fact, they have become a useful utility in today's math. Algebrahelp offers many different calculators designed specifically for algebra.
After some practice, you will be ready for the next step. The Armstrong Atlantic State University College Algebra Tutorial formulates equations for you to solve. You will be able to compare your answers against the tutorial afterwards. This is a great confidence builder.
Here is a tutorial to Re-enforce Your Knowledge of both beginning and intermediate algebra. This Texas Aggie site is a friendly step by step approach with easy to follow text and examples of equations to guide you along the way.
Now you will be ready for an Interactive Algebra Tutorial on the intermediate level. Test your algebra skills against an 'infinite number of problems with hints and guided solutions'. The free software must be downloaded. A useful tool before tests.
It is not unusual for students (and mathematicians) to discover an error in their calculations; these are the Most Common Errors in Undergraduate Mathematics, a useful primer to read before forging ahead.
Remember, these tools are designed to enhance your comprehension of algebra. Do not become dependant on these sites to give you answers for your assignments. By doing so, you may ultimately set yourself up for failure.