#Are you frightened of mathematics?

You’re not alone.By the time I was nine,I had developed a full-blown phobia. In fact, my most horrible moments in grade school took place right before an arithmetic test.My terror—and avoidance—lasted well into adulthood,until the day I landed a job with a social service agency and was given the task of ﬁguring budgets, which involved knowing how to do percentages.I might just as well have been asked to decipher the strange squiggles incised on the nose-cone ofan alien spaceship.I decided I’d better do something quick,so I went to a friend ofmine, a ﬁfth-grade teacher,and asked her to design a short course for me. We met on Sundays for almost a year.She began each tutorial with a short lecture on the type of problem we would be working with, and then provided me with a yellow legal pad and a photocopied set of problems—and sat doing crossword puzzles while I labored.We worked our way up to geometry that way, and on into algebra. “Mathematics works,”she told me early on.“Don’t ask why. Just do the problems. One day the light will dawn.”

Introduction

This book—which can be used alone, in combination with the LearningExpress publication, Practical Math Success in 20 Minutes a Day, or along with another basic math text of your choice—will give you practice in dealing with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages, basic algebra, and basic geometry. It is designed for individuals working on their own, and for teachers or tutors helping students learn the basics. Practice on 1001 math problems should help alleviate math anxiety, too!

vii Team-LRN

And it did ﬁnally! I’m proud to say I no longer have to pay someone to do my 1040 form for the IRS, and I don’t squirm and make excuses when, at lunch with friends,I’m called on to ﬁgure the tip in my head. I even balance my checkbook now! Learn by doing. It’s an old lesson,tried and true. And it’s the tool this book is designed to give you. Of course, this method works for people who don’t have math anxiety, too. Maybe you have simply forgotten a lot ofwhat you learned about math because you haven’t had to use it much.Or maybe you’re a student tackling arithmetic,algebra,and geometry for the ﬁrst time, and you just need more practice than your textbook gives you.Perhaps you’re getting ready for an exam,and you just want to make sure your math skills are up to the task. Whatever your situation, you can beneﬁt from the method ofthis book.That old maxim really is true: Practice makes perfect.