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College Algebra with Corequisite Support


College Algebra with Corequisite SupportPreface

Table of contents
  1. Preface
  2. 1 Prerequisites
    1. Introduction to Prerequisites
    2. 1.1 Real Numbers: Algebra Essentials
    3. 1.2 Exponents and Scientific Notation
    4. 1.3 Radicals and Rational Exponents
    5. 1.4 Polynomials
    6. 1.5 Factoring Polynomials
    7. 1.6 Rational Expressions
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    9. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  3. 2 Equations and Inequalities
    1. Introduction to Equations and Inequalities
    2. 2.1 The Rectangular Coordinate Systems and Graphs
    3. 2.2 Linear Equations in One Variable
    4. 2.3 Models and Applications
    5. 2.4 Complex Numbers
    6. 2.5 Quadratic Equations
    7. 2.6 Other Types of Equations
    8. 2.7 Linear Inequalities and Absolute Value Inequalities
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  4. 3 Functions
    1. Introduction to Functions
    2. 3.1 Functions and Function Notation
    3. 3.2 Domain and Range
    4. 3.3 Rates of Change and Behavior of Graphs
    5. 3.4 Composition of Functions
    6. 3.5 Transformation of Functions
    7. 3.6 Absolute Value Functions
    8. 3.7 Inverse Functions
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  5. 4 Linear Functions
    1. Introduction to Linear Functions
    2. 4.1 Linear Functions
    3. 4.2 Modeling with Linear Functions
    4. 4.3 Fitting Linear Models to Data
    5. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Concepts
    6. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  6. 5 Polynomial and Rational Functions
    1. Introduction to Polynomial and Rational Functions
    2. 5.1 Quadratic Functions
    3. 5.2 Power Functions and Polynomial Functions
    4. 5.3 Graphs of Polynomial Functions
    5. 5.4 Dividing Polynomials
    6. 5.5 Zeros of Polynomial Functions
    7. 5.6 Rational Functions
    8. 5.7 Inverses and Radical Functions
    9. 5.8 Modeling Using Variation
    10. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  7. 6 Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
    1. Introduction to Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
    2. 6.1 Exponential Functions
    3. 6.2 Graphs of Exponential Functions
    4. 6.3 Logarithmic Functions
    5. 6.4 Graphs of Logarithmic Functions
    6. 6.5 Logarithmic Properties
    7. 6.6 Exponential and Logarithmic Equations
    8. 6.7 Exponential and Logarithmic Models
    9. 6.8 Fitting Exponential Models to Data
    10. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  8. 7 Systems of Equations and Inequalities
    1. Introduction to Systems of Equations and Inequalities
    2. 7.1 Systems of Linear Equations: Two Variables
    3. 7.2 Systems of Linear Equations: Three Variables
    4. 7.3 Systems of Nonlinear Equations and Inequalities: Two Variables
    5. 7.4 Partial Fractions
    6. 7.5 Matrices and Matrix Operations
    7. 7.6 Solving Systems with Gaussian Elimination
    8. 7.7 Solving Systems with Inverses
    9. 7.8 Solving Systems with Cramer's Rule
    10. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  9. 8 Analytic Geometry
    1. Introduction to Analytic Geometry
    2. 8.1 The Ellipse
    3. 8.2 The Hyperbola
    4. 8.3 The Parabola
    5. 8.4 Rotation of Axes
    6. 8.5 Conic Sections in Polar Coordinates
    7. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    8. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  10. 9 Sequences, Probability, and Counting Theory
    1. Introduction to Sequences, Probability and Counting Theory
    2. 9.1 Sequences and Their Notations
    3. 9.2 Arithmetic Sequences
    4. 9.3 Geometric Sequences
    5. 9.4 Series and Their Notations
    6. 9.5 Counting Principles
    7. 9.6 Binomial Theorem
    8. 9.7 Probability
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  11. Answer Key
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
  12. Index

Welcome to College Algebra with Corequisite Support, an OpenStax resource. This textbook was written to increase student access to high-quality learning materials, maintaining highest standards of academic rigor at little to no cost.

About OpenStax

OpenStax is a nonprofit based at Rice University, and it’s our mission to improve student access to education. Our first openly licensed college textbook was published in 2012, and our library has since scaled to over 40 books for college, AP, and high school courses used by millions of students. Rover by OpenStax and OpenStax Tutor, our low-cost learning tools, are being used in courses throughout the country. Through our partnerships with philanthropic foundations and our alliance with other educational resource organizations, OpenStax is breaking down the most common barriers to learning and empowering students and instructors to succeed. Through our partnerships with philanthropic foundations and our alliance with other educational resource organizations, OpenStax is breaking down the most common barriers to learning and empowering students and instructors to succeed.

About OpenStax Resources


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To maximize readability and content flow, most images do not include attribution in the text. If you reuse art from College Algebra with Corequisite Support that does not have attribution provided, use the following attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC BY 4.0 license.


All OpenStax textbooks undergo a rigorous review process. However, like any professional-grade textbook, errors sometimes occur. Since our books are web based, we can make updates periodically when deemed pedagogically necessary. If you have a correction to suggest, submit it through the link on your book page on Subject matter experts review all errata suggestions. OpenStax is committed to remaining transparent about all updates, so you will also find a list of past errata changes on your book page on


You can access this textbook for free in web view or PDF through, and for a low cost in print.

About College Algebra with Corequisite Support

College Algebra with Corequisite Support integrates comprehensive algebraic principles with effective foundational review. Each College Algebra textbook section is paired with a thoughtfully developed, topically aligned skills module that prepares students for the course material. The modules include conceptual overviews, worked examples, and guided practice; they incorporate relevant material from OpenStax’s Developmental Math series. The modular approach and richness of content ensure that the book meets the needs of a variety of courses. College Algebra with Corequisite Support offers a wealth of examples with detailed, conceptual explanations, building a strong foundation in the material before asking students to apply what they’ve learned.

Development Overview

College Algebra with Corequisite Support is the product of a collaborative effort by a group of dedicated authors, and instructors experience and expertise led to a highly flexible and supportive resource for student at a range of levels. Special thanks is due the original College Algebra author, Jay Abramson of Arizona State University. Based on the widely used core text, Corequisite leader Sharon North (St. Louis Community College) developed a coordinated set of support resources, which provide review, instruction, and practice for algebra students.

The author team identified foundational skills and concepts, then mapped them to each module. These became the Corequisite Skills modules that precede each section of the text. In addition, Professor North authored a set of Labs designed for use in classes or workshops.

The collective experience of our author team allowed us to pinpoint the subtopics, exceptions, and individual connections that give students the most trouble. The textbook is therefore replete with well-designed features and highlights, which help students overcome these barriers. As the students read and practice, they are coached in methods of thinking through problems and internalizing mathematical processes.

Pedagogical Foundations and Features

Corequisite Skills Modules

Each College Algebra section begins with a carefully developed skills component, designed to guide students though the prequisite material and provide the strongest possible foundation for their work. While the modules draw from some elements of OpenStax Intermediate Algebra, each one was adapted and enhance with new material to be most effective for students.

The skills modules consist of the following:

  • Learning Objectives identifying the key concepts to be learned before students move on
  • Conceptual explanations and connections to subsequent material
  • Detailed worked examples
  • Practice problems

The Corequisite skills modules are available for download and printing on the College Algebra with Corequisite Support book page.


Each learning objective is supported by one or more worked examples that demonstrate the problem-solving approaches that students must master. The multiple Examples model different approaches to the same type of problem or introduce similar problems of increasing complexity.

All Examples follow a simple two- or three-part format. The question clearly lays out a mathematical problem to solve. The Solution walks through the steps, usually providing context for the approach — in other words, why the instructor is solving the problem in a specific manner. Finally, the Analysis (for select examples) reflects on the broader implications of the Solution just shown. Examples are followed by a “Try It” question, as explained below.


College Algebra with Corequisite Support contains many figures and illustrations, the vast majority of which are graphs and diagrams. Art throughout the text adheres to a clear, understated style, drawing the eye to the most important information in each figure while minimizing visual distractions. Color contrast is employed with discretion to distinguish between the different functions or features of a graph.

Example figure

Supporting Features

Four unobtrusive but important features, each marked by a distinctive icon, contribute to and check understanding.

  • A How To is a list of steps necessary to solve a certain type of problem. A How To typically precedes an Example that proceeds to demonstrate the steps in action.
  • A Try It exercise immediately follows an Example or a set of related Examples, providing the student with an immediate opportunity to solve a similar problem. In the PDF and the Web View version of the text, answers to the Try It exercises are located in the Answer Key.
  • A Q&A may appear at any point in the narrative, but most often follows an Example. This feature pre-empts misconceptions by posing a commonly asked yes/no question, followed by a detailed answer and explanation.
  • The Media icon appears at the conclusion of each section, just prior to the Section Exercises. This icon marks a list of links to online video tutorials that reinforce the concepts and skills introduced in the section.

While we have selected tutorials that closely align to our learning objectives, we did not produce these tutorials, nor were they specifically produced or tailored to accompany College Algebra with Corequisite Support.

Section Exercises

Each section of every chapter concludes with a well-rounded set of exercises that can be assigned as homework or used selectively for guided practice. With over 4600 exercises across the 9 chapters, instructors should have plenty from which to choose.1

Section Exercises are organized by question type, and generally appear in the following order:

  • Verbal questions assess conceptual understanding of key terms and concepts.
  • Algebraic problems require students to apply algebraic manipulations demonstrated in the section.
  • Graphical problems assess students’ ability to interpret or produce a graph.
  • Numeric problems require the student to perform calculations or computations.
  • Technology problems encourage exploration through use of a graphing utility, either to visualize or verify algebraic results or to solve problems via an alternative to the methods demonstrated in the section.
  • Extensions pose problems more challenging than the Examples demonstrated in the section. They require students to synthesize multiple learning objectives or apply critical thinking to solve complex problems.
  • Real-World Applications present realistic problem scenarios from fields such as physics, geology, biology, finance, and the social sciences.

Chapter Review Features

Each chapter concludes with a review of the most important takeaways, as well as additional practice problems that students can use to prepare for exams.

  • Key Terms provides a formal definition for each bold-faced term in the chapter.
  • Key Equations presents a compilation of formulas, theorems, and standard-form equations.
  • Key Concepts summarizes the most important ideas introduced in each section, linking back to the relevant Example(s) in case students need to review.
  • Chapter Review Exercises include 40-80 practice problems that recall the most important concepts from each section.
  • Practice Test includes 25-50 problems assessing the most important learning objectives from the chapter. Note that the practice test is not organized by section, and may be more heavily weighted toward cumulative objectives as opposed to the foundational objectives covered in the opening sections.
  • Answer Key includes the answers to all Try It exercises and every other exercise from the Section Exercises, Chapter Review Exercises, and Practice Test.

Accuracy of the Content

We understand that precision and accuracy are imperatives in mathematics, and undertook a dedicated accuracy program led by experienced faculty.

  1. Each chapter’s manuscript underwent rounds of review and revision by a panel of active instructors.
  2. Then, prior to publication, a separate team of experts checked all text, examples, and graphics for mathematical accuracy; multiple reviewers were assigned to each chapter to minimize the chances of any error escaping notice.
  3. A third team of experts was responsible for the accuracy of the Answer Key, dutifully re-working every solution to eradicate any lingering errors. Finally, the editorial team conducted a multi-round post-production review to ensure the integrity of the content in its final form.

Additional Resources

Student and Instructor Resources

We’ve compiled additional resources for both students and instructors, including Getting Started Guides, an instructor solution manual, and PowerPoint slides. Instructor resources require a verified instructor account, which can be requested on your log-in. Take advantage of these resources to supplement your OpenStax book.

The authors and OpenStax have provided substantial resources regarding teaching and learning in Corequisite environments. Any material that may be directly used by students -- including downloadable versions of the skills modules and the Labs -- will be included on the Student Resources page.

Community Hubs

OpenStax partners with the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) to offer Community Hubs on OER Commons—a platform for instructors to share community-created resources that support OpenStax books, free of charge. Through our Community Hubs, instructors can upload their own materials or download resources to use in their own courses, including additional ancillaries, teaching material, multimedia, and relevant course content. We encourage instructors to join the hubs for the subjects most relevant to your teaching and research as an opportunity both to enrich your courses and to engage with other faculty. To reach the Community Hubs, visit

Technology Resources

As allies in making high-quality learning materials accessible, our technology partners offer optional low-cost tools that are integrated with OpenStax books. To access the technology options for your text, visit your book page on

About the Authors

Senior Contributing Author

Sharon North, St. Louis Community College
Sharon North is a Professor of Mathematics at St. Louis Community College. She teaches gateway mathematics courses including Pre-calculus, Quantitative Reasoning, Introductory Statistics, College Algebra and Calculus. Sharon has also worked to develop and implement co-requisite offerings to these transfer level courses. Sharon designs math curricula and writes application-based content for students. She has served in leadership roles as a mathematics department chair and as district-wide developmental education coordinator. Sharon serves as the STLCC faculty representative to the Missouri Co-requisite at Scale Taskforce and serves on the state advisory board for mathematics pathways. She has worked in several states as part of the Charles A. Dana Center external team helping to mentor and provide support to faculty developing math pathways, corequisite courses and active learning activities for their classrooms.

Jay Abramson, Arizona State University
Jay Abramson has been teaching Precalculus for 38 years, the last 19 at Arizona State University, where he is a principal lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics. His accomplishments at ASU include co-developing the university’s first hybrid and online math courses as well as an extensive library of video lectures and tutorials. In addition, he has served as a contributing author for two of Pearson Education’s math programs, NovaNet Precalculus and Trigonometry. Prior to coming to ASU, Jay taught at Texas State Technical College and Amarillo College. He received Teacher of the Year awards at both institutions.

Contributing Authors

Rokhaya Ndao, St. Louis Community College
Rita Pernik, St. Louis Community College
Valeree Falduto, Palm Beach State College

Rachael Gross, Towson University

David Lippman, Pierce College

Melonie Rasmussen, Pierce College

Rick Norwood, East Tennessee State University

Nicholas Belloit, Florida State College Jacksonville

Jean-Marie Magnier, Springfield Technical Community College

Harold Whipple

Christina Fernandez


Phil Clark, Scottsdale Community College
Michael Cohen, Hofstra University
Matthew Goodell, SUNY Ulster
Lance Hemlow, Raritan Valley Community College
Dongrin Kim, Arizona State University
Cynthia Landrigan, Erie Community College
Wendy Lightheart, Lane Community College
Carl Penziul, Tompkins-Cortland Community College
Sandra Nite, Texas A&M University
Eugenia Peterson, Richard J. Daley College
Rhonda Porter, Albany State University
Michael Price, University of Oregon
William Radulovich, Florida State College Jacksonville
Camelia Salajean, City Colleges of Chicago
Katy Shields, Oakland Community College
Nathan Schrenk, ECPI University
Pablo Suarez, Delaware State University
Allen Wolmer, Atlanta Jewish Academy

The following faculty contributed to the development of OpenStax Precalculus, the text from which this product was updated and derived.
Precalculus Reviewers
Nina Alketa, Cecil College
Kiran Bhutani, Catholic University of America
Brandie Biddy, Cecil College
Lisa Blank, Lyme Central School
Bryan Blount, Kentucky Wesleyan College
Jessica Bolz, The Bryn Mawr School
Sheri Boyd, Rollins College
Sarah Brewer, Alabama School of Math and Science
Charles Buckley, St. Gregory's University
Kenneth Crane, Texarkana College
Rachel Cywinski, Alamo Colleges
Nathan Czuba
Srabasti Dutta, Ashford University
Kristy Erickson, Cecil College
Nicole Fernandez, Georgetown University / Kent State University
David French, Tidewater Community College
Douglas Furman, SUNY Ulster
Erinn Izzo, Nicaragua Christian Academy
John Jaffe
Jerry Jared, Blue Ridge School
Stan Kopec, Mount Wachusett Community College
Kathy Kovacs
Sara Lenhart, Christopher Newport University
Joanne Manville, Bunker Hill Community College
Karla McCavit, Albion College
Cynthia McGinnis, Northwest Florida State College
Lana Neal, University of Texas at Austin
Steven Purtee, Valencia College
Alice Ramos, Bethel College
Nick Reynolds, Montgomery Community College
Amanda Ross, A. A. Ross Consulting and Research, LLC
Erica Rutter, Arizona State University
Sutandra Sarkar, Georgia State University
Willy Schild, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Todd Stephen, Cleveland State University
Scott Sykes, University of West Georgia
Linda Tansil, Southeast Missouri State University
John Thomas, College of Lake County
Diane Valade, Piedmont Virginia Community College


  • 14,649 total exercises. Includes Chapter Reviews and Practice Tests.

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© Dec 8, 2021 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.