Five Websites to Help Adult Students Prepare for the Algebra Portion of the HSE

Posted by on July 7th, 2016

The high school equivalency (HSE) exams are administered in individual subject sections: Reading, Writing, Math, Science and Social Studies. Within each portion, there are specific subsets of information that students are responsible for learning. Students may be strong in one particular area and weak in another in the same category.

Equipping students with access to materials that target specific areas of need is one way to mitigate concerns they may have about passing a particular portion. Math is among one of the most daunting sections students face. An adult learner may do extremely well with basic arithmetic, but struggle with the Algebra portion. Having access to websites that target this particular area of learning will offer students tutorials, examples and practice problems. Five helpful sites for preparation include Khan Academy, Math Planet, S.O.S. Math, Cool Math and Math.com.


Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a website offering free online tutorials. Math is the primary focus of the site with other courses in Science, Computer Programming, and Arts & Humanities. The lessons are self-paced and allow students access to math material broken down by grade level or specific subjects. The Algebra section of the site features a series of tutorial videos covering each concept from a general overview to rational and irrational numbers to functions, equations and more. Students can progress sequentially through the lessons or jump specifically to areas where they need more support.


Math Planet

Math Planet is a free online site offering access to multiple levels of high school math: Pre-Algebra through Geometry. Each subject is broken into chapters featuring individual lessons. Each lesson includes a concept overview, example and video lesson. SAT and ACT practice tests are also available through the site which may offer students additional support in a test simulated environment.


SOS Math

S.O.S Math is a review site that provides short, easy to understand descriptions and concept explanations. There are also examples demonstrating the skill in action. Following each explanation, the site features practice problems with detailed answers for students to check their work. The site also features a CyberExam section for practice tests and CyberBoard for community discussion on particular topics.


Cool Math

Cool Math shares a more vibrant approach to math. The site features bright colors and links to individual topics which may be a great help to visual learners. The concepts are broken down into simple terms and explained with clear demonstrations and “try it” problems. There are also interactive exercises where the site provides a problem for students to solve and provides the correct answer for comparison.



Math.com divides the algebraic concepts into units with individual lessons followed by unit quizzes. The lessons feature a 4-step demonstration of the concept: first glance, in-depth, examples and workout. The steps offer a layered approach to the information for students. In addition to the lessons, there is also a section to make worksheets for more practice and a section for formulas and tables.


The websites also provide a number of exercises that provide practice for students, some interactive and some more worksheet-based. There are also multiple instructional approaches to help students learn and retain the concepts. The varied approaches are designed to reach learners of different styles and multiple learning levels. The use of websites like these will provide adult learners with the necessary support to ensure their success on the Algebra portion of any HSE exam.

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