**Learning Objectives**

After completing this tutorial, you should be able to:

- Solve quadratic equations by factoring.
- Solve quadratic equations by the square root method.
- Solve quadratic equations by completing the square.
- Solve quadratic equations by using the quadratic formula.
- Find the discriminant of a quadratic equation and use it to tell how many and what type of solutions the equation has.

** Introduction**

In this tutorial, we will be looking at solving a
specific type of
equation called the quadratic equation. The methods of solving
these
types of equations that we will take a look at are solving by
factoring,
by using the square root method, by completing the square, and by using
the quadratic equation. Sometimes one method won't work or
another
is just faster, depending on the quadratic equation given. So it
is good to know different ways to solve quadratic equations so you will
be prepared for any type of situation. After completing
this
tutorial, you will be a master at solving quadratic equations.
Solving
equations in general is a very essential part of Algebra. So I
guess
we better get to it.

** Tutorial**

,

*Where a does not equal 0.*

Note that in **Tutorial
14: Linear
Equations in One Variable**, we learned that a linear equation
can
be written in the form *ax* + *b* = 0 and that the exponent on the variable was 1.

Note that the difference is the highest exponent on the variable on the quadratic equation is 2.

We are going to talk about four ways to solve quadratics.

**Step 1: Simplify each
side if needed.**

This would involve things like removing ( ),
removing fractions, adding
like terms, etc.

**To remove ( ): ** Just use the
distributive property.

**To remove fractions:** Since fractions are
another way to write
division, and the inverse of divide is to multiply, you remove
fractions
by multiplying both sides by the LCD of all of your fractions.

**Step 2**: **Write in
standard form, ,
if needed.**

If it is not in standard form, move any term(s)
to the appropriate
side by using the addition/subtraction property of equality.

Also, make sure that the squared term is written
first left to right,
the *x* term is second and the constant is
third
and it is set equal to 0.

**Step 3**: **Factor.**

If you need a review on factoring go to **Tutorial
7: Factoring Polynomials**.

**Step 4:
Use the
Zero-Product Principle.**

**0 is our magic number because the only way a
product can become 0
is if at least one of its factors is 0. **

You can not guarantee what the factors would have
to be if the product
was set equal to any other number. For example if *ab* = 1, then *a* = 5 and *b* = 1/5 or *a* = 3 and *b* = 1/3, etc. But with the product set equal to 0, we can guarantee
finding the solution by setting each factor equal to 0. That is
why
it is important to get it in standard form to begin with.

**Step 5: Solve for the
linear equation(s) set up in step 4. **

If a quadratic equation factors, it will factor
into either one linear
factor squared or two distinct linear factors. So, the equations
found in step 4 will be linear equations. If you need a review on
solving linear equations feel free to go to **Tutorial
14: Linear Equations in One Variable.**

**Example
1**: Solve by factoring.

This quadratic equation is already simplified.

This quadratic equation is already in standard form.

**AND**

**Step 5: Solve for the linear
equation(s) set up in step 4. **

***Solve the second linear
equation**

**Example
2**: Solve by factoring.

**AND**

**Step 5: Solve for the linear
equation(s) set up in step 4. **

***Solve the second linear
equation**

**Example
3**: Solve by factoring.

**AND**

**Step 5: Solve for the linear
equation(s) set up in step 4. **

***Solve the second linear
equation**

**Step 1**: **Write the
quadratic equation in the form if
needed.**

If it is not in this form, , move any term(s) to the appropriate side by using the addition/subtraction or multiplication/division property of equality.

**Step 2**: **Apply the
square root method.**

If *A* and *B* are algebraic expressions such that ,
then ,

also written .

In other words, if you have an expression squared
set equal to another
expression, the inverse operation to solve it is to take the square
root
of both sides. Since both a positive and its opposite squared
result
in the same answer, then you will have two answers, plus or minus the
square
root of *B*.

**Step 3: Solve for the
linear equation(s) set up in step 2. **

After applying the square root method to a
quadratic equation you will
end up with either one or two linear equations to solve. Most
times
you will have two linear equations, but if B is equal to 0, then
you will only have one since plus or minus 0 is only one number.
If you need a review on solving linear equations feel free to go to **Tutorial
14: Linear Equations in One Variable.**

**Example
4**: Solve by using the square root method.

**AND**

**Step 2**: **Apply the square
root method.**

***Neg. sq. root of 16 = - 4**

**Example
5**: Solve by using the square root method.

**AND**

**Step 2**: **Apply the square
root method.**

Note how this quadratic equation is not in the
form to begin with. The 5 is NOT part of the expression being squared
on the left side of the equation. We can easily write it in the
form by dividing both sides by 5.

***Written in the form **

***Apply the sq. root method**

***There are 2 solutions**

***Neg. sq. root of 4 = -2**

**Example
6**: Solve by using the square root method.

**AND**

**Step 2**: **Apply the square
root method.**

***Apply the sq. root method**

***There are 2 solutions**

***Sq. root of 20 = 2 sq. root of
5**

***Solve for x**

***Neg. sq. root of 20 = -2 sq.
root of 5**

***Solve for x**

If the coefficient of the term is already 1, then proceed to step 2.

If the coefficient of the term is not equal to 1, then divide both sides by that coefficient.

In other words, rewrite it so that the and *x* terms are on one side and the constant is on the other side.

At this point we will be creating a perfect square
trinomial (PST).
Recall that a PST is a trinomial of the form and
it factors in the form .
When it is in that form it will allow us to continue onto the next step
and take the square root of both sides and find a solution.

**We need to find a number that
we can add to
the and x terms so that we have a PST. **

**We can get that magic number by
doing the following:**

If we have

**we can complete it’s
square by adding the constant**

In other words, we complete the square by taking
½ of *b* (the coefficient of the *x* term) and then
squaring
it. Make sure you remember to add it to BOTH sides to keep the
equation
balanced.

If you need a review on factoring a perfect square
trinomial, feel
free to go to **Tutorial 7:
Factoring
Polynomials.**

**Example
7**: Solve by completing the square.

The coefficient of the term is already 1.

The and *x *terms
are already isolated.

***Complete the square by taking
1/2 of b and squaring it**

***This creates a PST on the left
side of eq. **

**Example
8**: Solve by completing the square.

Note how the coefficient on the term is not 1 to begin with. We can easily fix that by dividing
both
sides by that coefficient, which in this case is 3 .

***Coefficient of term is now 1**

Note how the and *x* terms are not isolated to begin
with.
We can easily fix that by moving the constant to the other side of the
equation.

*** and x terms are now isolated**

***Complete the square by taking
1/2 of b and squaring it**

***This creates a PST on the left
side of eq. **

***Square
root of a negative 1 is i**

***Square
root of a negative 1 is i**

When , then

This would involve things like removing ( ),
removing fractions, adding
like terms, etc.

**To remove ( ): ** Just use the
distributive property.

**To remove fractions:** Since fractions are
another way to write
division, and the inverse of divide is to multiply, you remove
fractions
by multiplying both sides by the LCD of all of your fractions.

**Step 2**: **Write in
standard form, ,
if needed.**

If it is not in standard form, move any term(s)
to the appropriate
side by using the addition/subtraction property of equality.

Also, make sure that the squared term is written
first left to right,
the *x* term is second and the constant is
third
and it is set equal to 0.

**Step 3**: **Identify a, b,
and c**

When the quadratic equation is in standard
form, ,
then *a* is the coefficient in front of
the term, *b* is the coefficient in front of the *x *term,
and *c* is the constant term.

**Step 4**: **Plug the
values found in step 3 into the quadratic formula.**

When , then

**Step 5: Simplify if possible. **

**Example
9**: Solve by using the quadratic formula.

This quadratic equation is already simplified.

This quadratic equation is already in standard form.

*b*, the number in front
of *x*,
is -5.

*c*, the constant, is 1.

Make sure that you keep the sign that is in front of each of these numbers.

Next we will plug it into the quadratic formula. Note that we are only plugging in numbers, we don't also plug in the variable.

**AND**

**Step 5: Simplify if possible. **

***Plug in values found above for a, b,
and c**

***Simplify **

**Example
10**: Solve by using the quadratic formula.

This quadratic equation is already simplified.

This quadratic equation is already in standard form.

*b*, the number in front
of *x*,
is 0.

**Note that b is 0 because
the x term is missing.**

*c*, the constant, is 9.

Make sure that you keep the sign that is in front of each of these numbers.

Next we will plug it into the quadratic formula. Note that we are only plugging in numbers, we don't also plug in the variable.

**AND**

**Step 5: Simplify if possible. **

***Plug in values found above for a, b,
and c**

***Simplify **

***Square
root of a negative 1 is i**

**Example
11**: Solve by using the quadratic formula.

This quadratic equation is already simplified.

***Quad. eq. in standard form**

*b*, the number in front
of *x*,
is -6.

*c*, the constant, is 9.

Make sure that you keep the sign that is in front of each of these numbers.

Next we will plug it into the quadratic formula. Note that we are only plugging in numbers, we don't also plug in the variable.

**AND**

**Step 5: Simplify if possible. **

***Plug in values found above for a, b,
and c**

***Simplify **

The discriminant can tell you how many solutions there are going to be and if the solutions are real numbers or complex imaginary numbers.

Note that the value of the discriminant is found under the square root and there is a + or - in front of it. So, if that value is positive, then there would be two distinct real number answers.

Note that the value of the discriminant is found under the square root and there is a + or - in front of it. So, if that value is zero, + or - zero is the same number, so there would be only one real number solution.

Note that the value of the discriminant is found under the square root and there is a + or - in front of it. So, if that value is negative, then there would be two distinct complex imaginary number answers.

This would involve things like removing ( ),
removing fractions, adding
like terms, etc.

**To remove ( ): ** Just use the
distributive property.

**To remove fractions:** Since fractions are
another way to write
division, and the inverse of divide is to multiply, you remove
fractions
by multiplying both sides by the LCD of all of your fractions.

**Step 2**: **Write in
standard form, ,
if needed.**

If it is not in standard form, move any term(s)
to the appropriate
side by using the addition/subtraction property of equality.

Also, make sure that the squared term is written
first left to right,
the *x* term is second and the constant is
third
and it is set equal to 0.

**Step 3**: **Identify a, b,
and c**

When the quadratic equation is in standard
form, ,
then *a* is the coefficient in front of
the term, *b* is the coefficient in front of the *x *term,
and *c* is the constant term.

**Step 4**: **Plug the
values found in step 3 into the discriminant, .**

**Step 5: Simplify if possible. **

**Example
12**: Find the discriminant. Based on the discriminant,
indicate how many and what type of solutions there would be.

This quadratic equation is already simplified.

This quadratic equation is already in standard form.

*b*, the number in front
of *x*,
is 1.

*c*, the constant, is 10.

Make sure that you keep the sign that is in front of each of these numbers.

**AND**

**Step 5: Simplify if possible. **

***Plug in values found above for a, b,
and c**

***Discriminant**

**Example
13**: Find the discriminant. Based on the discriminant,
indicate how many and what type of solutions there would be. .

This quadratic equation is already simplified.

***Quad. eq. in standard form**

*b*, the number in front
of *x*,
is -8.

*c*, the constant, is 16.

Make sure that you keep the sign that is in front of each of these numbers.

**AND**

**Step 5: Simplify if possible. **

***Plug in values found above for a, b,
and c**

***Discriminant**

**Example
14**: Find the discriminant. Based on the discriminant,
indicate how many and what type of solutions there would be. .

This quadratic equation is already simplified.

***Quad. eq. in standard form**

*b*, the number in front
of *x*,
is 7.

*c*, the constant, is 0.

**Note that since the constant is missing it is understood
to be 0.**

Make sure that you keep the sign that is in front of each of these numbers.

**AND**

**Step 5: Simplify if possible. **

***Plug in values found above for a, b,
and c**

***Discriminant**

** Practice Problems**

These are practice problems to help bring you to the
next level.
It will allow you to check and see if you have an understanding of
these
types of problems. **Math works just like
anything
else, if you want to get good at it, then you need to practice
it.
Even the best athletes and musicians had help along the way and lots of
practice, practice, practice, to get good at their sport or instrument.**
In fact there is no such thing as too much practice.

To get the most out of these, **you should work the
problem out on
your own and then check your answer by clicking on the link for the
answer/discussion
for that problem**. At the link you will find the answer
as well as any steps that went into finding that answer.

Practice Problems 1a - 1b:Solve by factoring.

Practice Problems 2a - 2b:Solve by using the square root method.

Practice Problems 3a - 3b:Solve by completing the square.

Practice Problems 4a - 4c:Solve by using the quadratic equation.

Practice Problems 5a - 5c:Find the discriminant.Based on the discriminate, indicate how many and what type of solutions there would be.

** Need Extra Help on these Topics?**

**http://www.wtamu.edu/academic/anns/mps/math/mathlab/int_algebra/****int_alg_tut30_eqfact.htm**

This webpage helps you with solving polynomial equations by factoring.

**http://www.purplemath.com/modules/solvquad.htm****
**This webpage helps with solving quadratic equations by factoring

**http://www.sosmath.com/algebra/quadraticeq/sobyfactor/**
**sobyfactor.html **

This webpage helps with solving quadratic equations by factoring.

**http://www.mathpower.com/tut99.htm **

This webpage helps with solving quadratic equations by factoring.

**http://www.mathpower.com/tut105.htm **

This webpage helps with solving quadratic equations by factoring.

**http://www.mathpower.com/tut110.htm **

This webpage helps with solving quadratic equations by factoring.

**http://www.purplemath.com/modules/solvquad2.htm**

This webpage helps with solving quadratic equations by taking the square root.

**http://www.purplemath.com/modules/solvquad3.htm**

This webpage helps with solving quadratic equations by completing the square.

**http://www.purplemath.com/modules/solvquad4.htm**

This webpage helps with solving quadratic equations by using the quadratic formula.

**Go to Get
Help Outside the
Classroom found in Tutorial 1: How to Succeed in a Math Class for
some
more suggestions.**

Videos at this site were created and produced by Kim Seward and Virginia Williams Trice.

Last revised on Dec. 17, 2009 by Kim Seward.

All contents copyright (C) 2002 - 2010, WTAMU and Kim Seward.
All rights reserved.