Junior High Math: Help for Struggling Students

In junior high, you will be reviewing the fundamental math you learned in elementary school, while also advancing to more difficult topics. Here are some tips to make junior high math more enjoyable.

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What Is Junior High Math?

These pre-high school years are an important time to review what you've already learned, while preparing for the upcoming challenges of high school. Some of the math topics you can expect to see in your junior high years are percents and decimals, exponents, place value, geometry and pre-algebra. Regardless of what math class you take as a freshman in high school, you will need all of these junior high topics to guide you.

Fraction and Decimal Practice

Changing fractions to decimals takes practice. Here are some problems that can help you sharpen your math skills going into junior high. When a percent is given, you must turn it into a fraction by placing the decimal over 100 and reducing if necessary. When a decimal is given, change it into a fraction by dividing the numerator by the denominator.

  1. 1/3
  2. 4/5
  3. 0.75
  4. 0.9
  5. 1 and 1/4


  1. 0.333
  2. 0.8
  3. 3/4
  4. 9/10
  5. 1.25

Math Vocabulary

Math can seem much more difficult if you don't know the vocabulary. Below, you will find some typical junior high math terms that help you understand what your teacher is talking about in class. Create a dedicated space in your math notebook where you write down new vocabulary terms. That way, you can quickly reference your glossary during class when you forget what a term means.

An exponent is the little number written to the right of a number, such as 3 ^4. The exponent is the number of times the base number is multiplied by itself. So in 3 ^4, three is multiplied by three four times (3 x 3 x 3 x 3).
A variable is a letter or symbol in an algebraic expression representing a number or value. In the expression 56x - 4y, the letters 'x' and 'y' are variables.
Algebraic Expression
An algebraic expression is a numerical phrase or math problem that includes algebraic terms, like letters. An example is 3a + 4b = 7ab.
Prime Number
A positive number that cannot be divided by any whole number other than itself and one. Nine is an example of a prime number.
A ratio is a comparison between two things. A colon is generally used to indicate ratio, as in 3:4. A ratio describes how many times one of the two items can be put into the other; another way to think of it is as a size comparison.
Natural Numbers
These are usually defined as non-negative numbers, so anything from zero up. These are all the numbers used in counting and in everyday life. You will probably start to see references to natural numbers starting in 7th or 8th grade.
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