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Quadratics

40 points
A quadratic contains a squared
variable (x2) as the highest-order
term
Standard form:
y=ax +bx+c
2
There can be 0, 1, or 2 solutions
for x (also called “roots”)

That’s because solutions are


where the graph of an equation
crosses the x-axis
0 solutions

2 solutions 1 solution
To solve:

1st: Always move everything to one side of the equation and set it equal
to zero!

2nd: Use one of the following techniques...


OPTION 1: Factoring aka: reverse-FOIL
This is ALWAYS easiest if a=1, so try to simplify your expression so that this is
the case!

HINT: nice-looking numbers in answer choices= clue that factoring is possible

For x2+bx+c: Look for the factors of c that add up to equal b

For ax2+bx+c : multiply a times c, look for the factors of ac that add up to b,
use those factors to break the middle term into two pieces, then factor by
grouping

Check your work by FOILing!


OPTION 2: Square Rooting:

Use when both sides of equation


are perfect squares
OPTION 2: Square Rooting example:

Ex: (x+3)2 = 49
You can use the square root on both sides
because both sides of the equation are perfect
squares!
(x+3) = 7
x= 4
OPTION 3: Completing the Square
Use with more difficult quadratic equations

1st: put the quadratic in standard form


2nd: divide b by 2 and square the result
3rd: add the result to both sides of the
equation, factor, & solve by square rooting
Another example...
OPTION 4: The Quadratic
Formula

*Complicated math, so only use as


a last resort!
The Quadratic Formula
Use to find an exact solution

HINT: Use when you see radicals in the answer choices!

*Be sure to write in standard form before plugging in the values of a,


b, and c into the formula!

MEMORIZE this formula!!!!


Discriminant: the sign dictates the # of
REAL solutions of the equation

+ = 2 real solutions
0 = 1 real solution
- = 0 real solutions

You MUST solve the discriminant 1st!


Graphing Parabolas
Note: Quadratics (& functions) graph as parabolas (U-shaped)

When a<0: will open DOWN

When a>0: will open UP

*Be sure you are familiar with the terms on the image
ANOTHER way to see them: Vertex Form

y = a(x - h) 2 + k
h & k are the x- and - coordinates of the parabola’s vertex, respectively, and the equation x = h give the
axis of symmetry
This is the quadratic formula
From standard form, plug in the values into x = -b
WITHOUT the square2aroot
part!

To find the y-coordinate of the vertex, plug the x-coordinate into the original equation and solve for y!