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Which Math Skills Should Your Child Before Starting Grade 9?

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

Starting high school this year? Here are some key skills and free resources for parents and students to get the ball rolling!

grade 9 math help

1) Algebra

Algebra is a crucial skill that is the basis for most of high school math (particularly functions and advanced functions). It is important that your child knows how to isolate and solve for the unknown variable regardless of its place in an equation.

An important part of this skill is understanding how to collect like terms and knowing your opposite operations. Practicing multi-step equations with fractional coefficients can give a major boost to your child’s educational trajectory.

Example: 4/x = 12

2) Fractions

The addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions are key skillsets to acquire prior to entering high school. Most importantly students should be able to easily create a common denominator when adding and subtracting fractions.

Ensuring your child can convert whole fractions into mixed forms, reduce final answers and create common denominators will be incredibly helpful to them as they begin high school.

Example: 1/3 + 4/5

3) Complex BEDMAS (Order of Operations)

One of the most important math skills for children to know is the order of operations (brackets, exponents, division, multiplication, addition and subtraction). When students are not well-versed in BEDMAS they may make

simple arithmetic mistakes, which can

result in a completely different answer.

We recommend going through each letter in the acronym then scanning the equation to solve in the correct order step-by-step before beginning with calculations.

4) Integers

Effectively calculating answers involving integers is a crucial skill to master before entering high school. Many students get confused with adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing negative integers. A little refresher on integer laws can make a big difference before starting grade 9!

Example: 4 + (-3) = 1

5) Polynomials

Adding and subtracting polynomials is a foundational skill that becomes increasingly important as your child enters higher levels of math. Important math skills include combining like terms, factoring monomials, using the distributive property and multiplying the monomials and polynomials.


Combining like terms: 4x^2 + 2y + 7x^2 +5y = aax^2 + 7y

Factoring monomials: 4x^4 + 2x^3 + 8x = 2x (2x^3 + x^2 +4)

Distributive property: x (3x + 4y + 5z) = 3x^2 + 4xy + 5xz

Multiplying monomials and polynomials: (x + y) (3x^2 + 4y)

6) Exponent Laws

Understanding exponents is crucial to your child's math knowledge. There are multiple "laws" of exponents that your child should be familiar with before entering high school such as the: Product rule, Quotient rule, Power rule, Zero rule and Negative exponents.

Having a basic understanding of these rules will help your child feel more comfortable and confident dealing with exponents when going into high school math.


Exponent: y^2 = y * y = n

Product Rule: y^1 * y^5 = y^1+5 = y^6

Quotient Rule: y^10/y^6 = y^10-6 = y^4

Power Rule: (y^2) ^3 = y^2x3= y^6

Zero rule: y^0 = 1,

Negative exponent: y^-3 = y^-3/ 1 = 1/y^3

7) Factoring & FOIL rule

Factoring and the FOIL rule are integral to you're child's ability to handle expressions and binomials. The two skills go hand in hand and it is crucial that, along with understanding how and when to use them, you're child can recognize how they are related. By doing so it will help them understand how to achieve both!

8) Showing ALL of your steps!

High school teachers are required to mark you on the algorithm you used to solve the question. That's why it's important to show every last detail for full marks! There our tons of free resources online to help students master these skills. We highly recommend Googling some free worksheets from the website Kuta Software.

For kids who may need a little boost the Khan Academy app has tons of free lessons on these topics. Then once you're on a roll feel free to check your answers on the PhotoMath or Symbolab apps! . *Scholarly Elite is not affiliated with Kuta Software, Khan Academy, PhotoMath or Symbolab. That said, we do highly recommend them all as supplementary tools in a great mathematics education! .

For more help you can also check out our YouTube channel where we have videos going through the entire grade 9 math curriculum!

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