Course Syllabus

Welcome to RWM101: Foundations of Real World Math

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Student Handbook.


Course Description

Discover the fundamentals of math, like decimals, percents, and fractions, using scenarios that relate directly to events that you will come across every day in your life.


Course Introduction

We use math in our daily activities, as part of almost every career you can imagine, from business to cooking, farming, or medicine. Many consider math the "universal language", since people across the world use the same numbers, formulas, and equations to help them navigate their lives. In this course, we will study fundamental math concepts and how you can use them in your life.

For example, we use fractions when we make measurements, configure ratios, and calculate proportions. We use decimals and percentages in finance, measurement, and weight. In this course, we also study how to represent data visually, such as with bar graphs, line graphs, or pie charts. Graphs and charts convey data quickly to an audience. We also explore how to interpret data to help you make sense of charts, like those that outline interest rates, so you can calculate how much money you will need to pay off a loan. Math can also be fun: you need to understand statistics to create a winning fantasy football team.

This course includes the following units:

  • Unit 1: Number Properties
  • Unit 2: GCF and LCM
  • Unit 3: Order of Operations
  • Unit 4: Fractions
  • Unit 5: Decimals
  • Unit 6: Ratios and Proportions
  • Unit 7: Percentages
  • Unit 8: Graphs and Charts


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract;
  • apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide;
  • explain how negative numbers are used together to describe quantities having an opposite direction;
  • solve real-world and mathematical problems involving the four operations (including fractions and decimals);
  • find the greatest common factor and least common multiple of whole numbers;
  • recognize a fraction as part of a whole;
  • explain equivalence of fractions;
  • use equivalent fractions as a strategy to add and subtract fractions with like and unlike denominators;
  • solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions referring to the same whole and having like and unlike denominators;
  • determine how to solve multiplication and division of fractions problems;
  • solve real-world problems involving multiplication and division of fractions;
  • use decimal notation for fractions;
  • read, write, and compare decimals;
  • perform operations with multi-digit whole numbers and with decimals to hundredths;
  • solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with decimals;
  • use ratio concepts to solve problems;
  • analyze proportional relationships, and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems;
  • convert between percent, decimal, and fraction notation;
  • use proportional relationships to solve multi-step percent problems; and
  • represent and interpret data in various graphs.

Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.


Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are articles, lectures, and videos.

All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource, and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.


Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.

There are also end-of-unit assessments and other practice problems in this course. These are designed to help you study, and do not factor into your final course grade. You can take these as many times as you want until you understand the concepts and material covered. You can see all of these assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's navigation bar.


Tips for Success

RWM101: Foundations of Real World Math is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 30 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context, and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
  • As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory, and will make you more likely to retain information over time.


Technical Requirements

This course is delivered entirely online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one for free here. Although you can access some of the course without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.

For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.



This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

Last modified: Friday, March 31, 2023, 5:08 PM