People that make algebra easier are our friends! Some poor fellow used to solve quadratic equations by completing the square and finally discovered a much easier way- it’s called the quadratic formula! Yes the completing the square method of solving a quadratic equation is the “long way” – a better, faster way is the quadratic formula. Nevertheless you need to understand the process of completing the square. Essentially if I had the quadratic equation x ^ squared = 4 the easiest way to solve this is take the square root of both sides, x =2. The problem was easy because both sides of the equations were “squares” another words perfect little algebra expressions that we can easily find the square root. When we have such nice problems we clearly want to take the square root of both sides to solve. Completing the square is a method were we “fix” up a problem such that it has two perfect squares on either side of the equation- solving is simple we just take the square root of both sides. The downside to this method is it takes a little work and it’s easy to make mistakes. But there is an upside to learning completing the square and it’s you will really gain an appreciation and understanding of the quadratic formula. The notes below walk you through the process- take your time completing the square involves many steps and it’s easy to make a mistake.
some key topics that involve solving quadratic equations by completing the square:
* quadratic formula
* quadratic inequalities
* SAT and ACT exams