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What is pre-algebra?
Pre-Algebra is the term given to mathematics that is typically studied in the 7th, 8th and 9th grades in most schools in the United States. However there are students who have opted to take this course as early as the 5th and 6th grade. Pre-algebra serves as an introduction to algebra as a subject. It covers various topics like whole numbers and natural numbers, factorizations, integers, negative numbers and decimals. It also introduces students to the concept of roots, exponents and powers. In addition to being an introduction to algebra, pre-algebra also deals with certain aspects of geometry. The geometry that it deals with is the kind that is used in further algebraic studies like determining volume, area and perimeter of objects. Pre-algebra is almost always a standard part of school syllabi especially for students in the middle school grades. Some schools might study the subject under the broad category of mathematics.

Why study pre-algebra?
As mentioned above, pre-algebra acts as a foundation or is a preview of what mainstream algebra is all about. Algebra in its basic form is used in our everyday lives irrespective of the field of work that we specialize in. Therefore, knowledge of pre-algebra irrespective of the career path you wish to take is always a good idea. For students who intend to enter fields of mathematic, physics, science in general, medicine, engineering etc, studying pre-algebra is a must. Advanced concepts of algebra, trigonometry and geometry are all based on the fundamentals that are taught as part of a pre-algebra course. One of the other important aspects of studying pre-algebra is the fact that it encourages thinking and reasoning. It also equips students with the ability to arrive at deductions and conclusions in a logical manner.