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Intercepts of Linear Equations - Problem 1 4,754 views

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

The x- and y-intercepts are where the graph of a line crosses the x- and y-axes. When given a graph, identify the point where the line crosses the x-axis. The coordinates of that point is the x-intercept. Identify the point where the line crosses the y-axis. The coordinates of that point is the y-intercept.

Finding x and y intercepts are the kind of problem it takes you longer to read than it takes you to do, and here is what I mean.

If you’re given a graph like this, all you want to look for to find the y-intercept is the place where the line crosses the y-axis. Remember the y axis is the vertical one. So if you look at your graph, here is the place where the y crosses, excuse me the graph crosses the y-axis, it’s at then point 0 for x, 4 for y. That’s my y intercept, so that’s it.

To find the x intercept, I’m looking at the x axis, it crosses right here at -3 for x, zero for y. The only trick that a lot of students make is they forget that these represent as two separate points, so when you’re answering these problems, make sure you write it as two different points, x intercept is -3, 0, the y intercept is (0,4) not (-3,4). That’s a really common mistake.

Keep in mind these are two separate points, so you’re going to have two separate answers. Again these are some of my favorite types of Math problems because you can do it just like that.

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