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Completing the Square - Problem 7

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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

To complete the square, you first need to make sure that the "a" value is one. Then you take half of the "b" value, square the result, and add that value to both sides of the equation. It's important to add the value to both sides to ensure that the equation remains balanced. From there, factor the perfect square trinomial that you have created. Now you have completed the square. If the instructions ask you to solve, then you need to continue: square root both sides, being sure to include the positive and negative square roots, and then solve for x. You should have two solutions.

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