It helps to have a good grasp of

A tutor can help. Your helper should be able to explain things to you in a manner you can understand. Sometimes it helps to get physical--play with blocks; cook with recipes involving fractions. Do the numbers by hand (don't use a calculator). Learn to use an abacus or soroban.

- arithmetic--adding and subtracting signed numbers, as well as multiplying and dividing them
- mixed fractions, improper fractions, decimal fractions, percentages, ratios, and the conversions between these
- place value and scientific notation
- substituting values for variables
- ordered pairs and graphing
- order of operations in evaluating expressions
- multiplication tables, at least through 12*12
- squares of numbers through 20*20, square roots of 2, 3, 5 (to 3 decimal places)
- Pythagorean Theorem
- equation for a line in several different forms: Slope-intercept; 2-point; point-slope
- what the formulas look like when lines are parallel or perpendicular
- "completing the square" as a method for solving quadratic equations
- the quadratic formula (related to "completing the square")
- definitions of things like "intercept", "vertex"
- steps to solve linear equations
- steps to solving inequalities, including ones with absolute value
- Pi (common approximations), formulas for circumference and area of a circle
- formulas for perimeter and area of common geometric figures.

^{nd}or 3^{rd}grade. You do have to remember this stuff beyond the test, so it pays to actually understand it. That way it's not so much a matter of memory.)A tutor can help. Your helper should be able to explain things to you in a manner you can understand. Sometimes it helps to get physical--play with blocks; cook with recipes involving fractions. Do the numbers by hand (don't use a calculator). Learn to use an abacus or soroban.