# Must Know High School Algebra, Second Edition

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## Book Preface

Welcome to your new algebra book! Let us try to explain why we believe you’ve made the right choice with this new edition. This probably isn’t your ﬁrst go-round with either a textbook or other kind of guide to a school subject. You’ve probably had your ﬁll of books to memorize lots of terms. This book isn’t going to do that—although you’re welcome to memorize anything you take an interest in. You may also have found that a lot of books make a lot of promises about all the things you’ll be able to accomplish by the time you reach the end of a given chapter. In the process, those books can make you feel as though you missed out on the building blocks that you actually need to master those goals.

With Must Know High School Algebra, we’ve taken a diﬀerent approach. When you start a new chapter, you will immediately see one or more  must know ideas. These are the essential concepts behind what you are going to study, and they will form the foundation of what you will learn throughout the chapter. With these must know ideas, you will have what you need to hold it together as you study, and they will be your guide as you make your way through each chapter.

To build on this foundation you will ﬁnd easy-to-follow discussions of the topic at hand, accompanied by comprehensive examples that show you how to apply what you’re learning to solving typical algebra questions. Each chapter ends with review questions—more than 400 throughout the book—designed to instill conﬁdence as you practice your new skills.

This book has other features that will help you on this algebra journey of yours. It has a number of“sidebars” that will both help provide helpful information or just serve as a quick break from your studies. The  sidebars (“by the way”) point out important information as well as study tips and exceptions to the rule. Every once in a while, an sidebar (“in real life”) will tell you what you’re studying has to do with the real world; other IRLs may just be interesting factoids.
But that’s not all—this new edition has taken it a step further. We know our algebra students well and we want to make sure you’re getting the most out of this book. We added new EASY MISTAKE sidebars that point out common mistakes and things not to do. For those needing a little assistance, we have our EXTRA HELP feature, where more challenging concepts, topics, or questions are given some more explanation. And finally, one special note for the teachers (because we didn’t forget about you!)—a Teacher’s Guide section at the back of the book is a place where you can go to find tips and strategies on teaching the material in the book, a behind-the-scenes look at what the authors were thinking when creating the material, and resources curated specifically to make your life easier!

In addition, this book is accompanied by a flashcard app that will give you the ability to test yourself at any time. The app includes more than 100 “flashcards” with a review question on one “side” and the answer on the other. You can either work through the flashcards by themselves or use them alongside the book. To find out where to get the app and how to use it, go to the next section, The Flashcard App.
We also wanted to introduce you to your guides throughout this book. Chris Monahan and Laura Favata have decades of experience teaching students at multiple levels. They know what you should get out of an algebra course and the strategies that will help get you there. They have seen the typical kinds of problems that students can have with algebra. In this book, they use their experience to show you not only the most effective way to learn a given concept but how to get yourself out of traps you might have fallen into. We are confident that we’re leaving you in good hands.
Before we leave you to the authors’ surefooted guidance, let us give you one piece of advice. While we know that something “is the worstis a cliché, we might be inclined to say that the quadratic formula is the worst. Don’t try to see if you can get away with going through the motions; instead, let the authors introduce you to the concept and show you how to apply it confidently to your algebra work. If you’ll take our word for it, mastering the quadratic formula will leave you in good stead for the rest of your math career.