How Do I Pass Algebra 1?

It helps to have a good grasp of
• 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.
That's not very much stuff for a year's work. Pick a bullet, work on it until you understand it. Move on. (A lot of the first several bullets are things that came well before Algebra 1, some as early as 2nd or 3rd 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.

thanked the writer. 