# Is Algebra a part of basic math that an adult should know? [closed]

A lot of adults can't solve this problem.

"If you bought 4 cookies for \$2, then how many cookies could you buy for \$5? Excluding tax." From a sample of 20 adults I surveyed, only 1 out of 4 gave the right answer.

So that brings me to wonder if algebra is basic math that most adults should know.

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"Should" in what sense? It is certainly possible to live your life without knowing any algebra; millions of people did it for centuries. Just like it is possible to live without knowing how to read. And I'm not sure how your question follows from your survey. Your survey indicates that (only) about 25% of people can solve a proportions problem. Does it indicate they "should" be able to solve it? –  Arturo Magidin May 20 '12 at 4:48
and millions of people even today survive without knowing any algebra. (Adding to Arturo's statement) –  user17762 May 20 '12 at 4:53