Chapter 9

Knowing Your Math


check Understanding math-talk and basic concepts

check Finagling fractions and decimals

check Brushing up on positive and negative numbers

check Getting into roots, exponents, and quadratics

check Digging into algebra and geometry

Lazarus Long, a fictional character created by Robert A. Heinlein, once said, “Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics isn’t fully human. At best, he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house.”

Perhaps Mr. Long’s observation is a little harsh. Some people seem to be born mathematicians, while others struggle with many of its concepts. The fact remains, however, that the military seems to agree with Mr. Long. You can’t join the military without proving that you know the fundamentals of math. Fully 50 percent of your AFQT score is based on your ability to solve math problems. And as I indicate in Chapter 2, your AFQT score determines whether you can join the military.

The good news is that ...

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