I'm trying to teach myself college algebra and precalculus. What's the quickest / most efficient way to do this?

I took Algebra I & II a long time ago, but I don't remember most of it. Recently I've reviewed Algebra I and a lot of Algebra II, and now I'm up to the more advanced parts of Algebra II.

I need a resource that's self-paced (I don't want to be tied down to a slow teaching schedule) and as quick and efficient as I can get, but it needs to be comprehensive. I also need some way of testing myself to make sure I understand and remember the concepts.

So far I've tried a some of the Cliffs Quick Review series and Khan Academy. They're both quick and self-paced, but I'm concerned they're not comprehensive enough. Also, Cliffs doesn't have much self-testing, and Khan Academy lacks quizzes on many topics.


Use these video lectures (free) from Harvard. They also include notes taken by a great TA so it is very accessible:


They follow Artin's "Algebra" which is, in my opinion, quite intuitive for the beginning part on groups.

Then, if you are wanting a text for rings and fields, I would switch to "Dummit & Foote" which, in my opinion, gives a better presentation.

No matter what, do problems. Practice, practice, practice. You can always get outstanding help here.

EDIT: If this is more advanced than you intended, here is a great book by a great mathematician, I. Gelfand:


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    $\begingroup$ I think the OP is talking about this kind of algebra: tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Classes/Alg/Alg.aspx , rather than group theory. $\endgroup$ – Spine Feast Dec 11 '13 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ @DepeHb Yes, I think you are right. That's why I stuck in the "Gelfand" suggestion. $\endgroup$ – user12802 Dec 11 '13 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ I was asking about the less advanced type. The link from DepeHb looks very interesting, as does the book from I.M. Gelfand. Does anyone know about the Art of Problem Solving curriculum? $\endgroup$ – user115200 Dec 12 '13 at 16:06

youtube is a great source if you want to search up lectures and there are many math textbooks available online for free in pdf format


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