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Finding the Slope of a Line from an Equation - Problem 1

Teacher/Instructor Alissa Fong
Alissa Fong

MA, Stanford University
Teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area

Alissa is currently a teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area and Brightstorm users love her clear, concise explanations of tough concepts

When the equation of a line is in slope-intercept (y=mx+b) form, remember that m = slope and b = y-intercept. If the equation of a line is written in slope-intercept form, the slope is the coefficient of the x variable, or the number in front of x. Don't forget to include the right sign for the slope.

Often times you’re given the equation of a line and you’re asked to find either the slope or the y-intercept. So let’s look at this one; find the slope of the line y equals -2/3x plus 6.

Okay, well I already know that in the equation y equals mx plus b, whatever is in front of x is my slope number. So to do this problem, I don’t have to do any Math, I just have to recognize that -2/3 is the slope, it’s the coefficient in front of x.

The one trick is to please make sure that you include that negative sign, the slope is the negative 2/3 number and another error I often see is students say the slope is -2/3x, it’s not -2/3x, it’s just plain old -2/3.

So when you come to problems like this, you probably are going to get this an A+ in your test because there’s not a whole Math you have to do. You just need to look at the number that’s in front of x, make sure you include a negative sign if it’s there. That’s how you find the slope.

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