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Topic: Assistance needed for math textbooks......

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Subject: Assistance needed for math textbooks......
Date Posted: 9/18/2009 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2005
Posts: 161
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I've posted this in the Teacher's forum, with no response.  Since there have been so many of you in here who have given me such helpful advice, guidance and assistance - I feel that I can turn to all of you for suggestions:

I'm been thinking/wanting (and working up the courage of going back) to (community) college (after over 25 years since I've been in a classroom) - Math has always been my biggest weakness(even in high school), so I'd like to focus on that.

I'm looking for basic(very basic) mathmatics text books to help me prepare for my entrance placement exams.

So, PLEASE, could anyone recommend any basic college entrance placement math textbooks, that I can learn and work from?   I've done a little research, but there are just so many books out there, but I don't know which would give me the learning assistance that I can use to the best of my ability. (fractions, decimals, pre-algebra & etc)

And any advice/suggestions/recommendations you have for a Mom who hasn't been in a class room in over 25 years - I would greatly appreciate it!! And of course, I'll be requesting the book(s) from here on PBS - hopefully from one of you here.

Thank you so much,


Date Posted: 9/18/2009 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Hi Elaine,

I think it's great that you're going back to school. A couple of questions: Any idea what is going to be on the entrance placement exams? What level math do you want to "place" into?

I don't think in your case it's necessary to study for entrance placement exams. The point is to figure out what you level is, so you can choose the appropriate level at which to start taking classes. The people who really want to cram for them want to place out of the beginner levels so they can start their studies at the school at a more advanced level.

I'd just take the test, see where that puts me, and start looking for textbooks for the class/level that you place into. Save you credits/money for then.

good luck!

Date Posted: 9/18/2009 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2006
Posts: 838
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Mathematics placement tests for college vary by college. The tests contain a set of questions of graduated difficulty designed to determine how much and what type of mathematical experience the prospective student has encountered.

Look online and see if the college you wish to enter has a mathematics placement test posted.

I found one at the following link:  http://www.oaklandcc.edu/MathTest/Practest.pdf

It will give you an idea of what to expect.

Given the anxiety many students feel about returning to college, I suggest that you consider taking the placement test "cold" so that you will get an accurate reading of where you need to begin your collegiate mathematical studies. Many schools have adult re-entry programs designed to help the non-traditional student in her transition to academics. Ask about those.

I commend you for returning to college. Please PM me if I can help you with the math in any way.


Date Posted: 9/19/2009 12:28 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2005
Posts: 161
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The college I'm planning to attend, has a sample test - and I didn't get very far, before I knew that I was in serious trouble.   I'm gonna need a lot more learning before even coming close to completing any part of the test.

Plus I have a terrible memory problem - very forgetfull.  My doctor recommended that I start doing something that would challenge me and get my mind to start working again.  She simply stated "Use it of lose it"

So, I thought that by refreshing myself on math, I could definitely get my mind/brain working.   My forgetfulness has been a huge concern about going back to college, this would definitely helpin giving me more confidence.


I barely passed algebra in high school, with a D-, I know that I need to better prepare myself. 


Those two reasons, are why I'm in search of math textbook, that starts with the very basics.  I just don't know which one would best help me, especially in finally figuring out algebra.


Thank you both, Sophia & Pam. I should have explained myself better in my original post.



Date Posted: 9/19/2009 1:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2009
Posts: 16
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Hi Elaine,

I found myself in exactly the same spot you're in about a year ago and I discovered some fantastic courses through The Teaching Company.  I know you said you're looking for textbooks, but for me textbooks just didn't cut it, I needed something more engaging.  I started with the basic math, which begins with refreshers in addition and subtraction and goes from there. The courses I used are here:


They come with a set of classroom dvd's that you pause while you work through problems, and books.  The teachers are excellent and I felt like I was really in a class with them.  I can't express enough how much the teaching company high school series (the whole series, not just the math) helped this granny prepare for returning to school.  They are pricy to buy, but many libraries have them so you might get lucky like that.  Also, I've seen them go for much less on ebay sometimes. The greatest thing about them was when I didn't quite understand something, I could just rewind and work through it again without feeling stupid in front of others. 

I don't think you'd find these here on PBS, but they helped me so much I had to suggest them.  I don't have them or I would share them with you, sorry. I got them from the library, loved them so much I bought a set for refreshers, then loaned them to someone who is still using them. 

Good luck to you!

Last Edited on: 9/19/09 1:56 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/19/2009 1:38 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 37,778
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It might be a good idea to just sign up for a very basic math course at the community college as a non matriculated student.  Then take the placement test for next semester.

Subject: Question
Date Posted: 9/19/2009 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Why don't you just start with the basic math class that they have.  You credit for it only it doesn't count on your degree, but you have to start somewhere?  My friend had to do this and she is so much better off for startig back at the basics.  She moved all the way up to college algebra from starting off in there basic which started off doing adding, subtracting, multiplying, division, and fractions. 

But if you want I have a beginning algebra text book on my shelf if you want it I'll send it to you.  The book on my shelf is the one my mom used for her first class when she went back to school 2 years ago.  She was 35 when she went back so it had been a while for her too.  I have other text books too if you want to do a three for one.  But if you just want the algebra one pm me with your adress. 

Last Edited on: 9/19/09 2:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/19/2009 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2007
Posts: 83
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I took algebra on-line from the University of Phoenix a couple of years ago and math.com and drmath.com were amazingly helpful.  I'd send you my books - very detailed and step-by-step but I already loaned them to someone. 

Date Posted: 9/20/2009 12:18 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2005
Posts: 161
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Thank you all, it's great advice.  I went to Goodwill today and sorted thru about 10 various math books, found three that should help get me started.  I'm the type of person who has to be hands on to really learn/grasp what I need to learn.  

This should give me a great start.  I'd sign up for online courses, but like so many people - our money is so tight.  And I have a stack of med bills that need to be paid, so for the time being, I'll have to settle for these books.

And like some of you said - take math class @ the community college I plan to attend.  Even with the preparation, I'll probably have to take a math class, but at least I'll be a little more prepared.

I did do some checking online and found two books that I now have on my WL - Basic Math & Pre-Algebra for Dummies and Math for the Anxious


Adrienne, how did you get so many blinkies at the bottom of your post?  If I try to do more than one line, half of the images are cut off.  I'd love to know your secret.

Thank you everyone, I so appreciate all of your advice.


Last Edited on: 9/20/09 12:20 AM ET - Total times edited: 1