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Standard Form of Linear Equations - Concept

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

We will commonly see lines expressed in the standard form of a linear equation, especially when we look at and write systems of linear equations. The standard form of a linear equation puts the x and y terms on the left hand side of the equation, and makes the coefficient of the x-term positive. While standard form is commonly, we sometimes rewrite a line in slope-intercept form in order to graph it.

The standard form of a linear equation looks like ax+by=c. And what that means is that we have x and y but they both have exponents of 1 that's really important. We also have x and y and they're being added together. There's no multiplying going on, there's no dividing actually they could be subtracted and it would still be standard form. So standard form they have to be added or subtracted but x and y can't be multiplied or divided. The other important thing to keep in mind is that a and b are called coefficients because they're the numbers in front of a variable and then c is called the constant.
Standard Form is useful because a lot of times as it's helpful to find the x and y intercepts. And it also gets to be useful once you start studying quadratics which is when you have x squared. However most of the time people like to use equations that are either in point slope form or slope intercept form. So one of the things you're going to want to practice is being able to move fluidly between any of those 3 forms of equations. If you can do that you'll be able to solve any problem that comes your way.

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