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The Quadratic Formula - Problem 5

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

Since the quadratic formula is so big with a lot of plus and minus sign, not to mention the necessity of doing order of operations correctly, there is a lot of opportunity for error. One tip for reducing errors is to do as much in your head as possible. The most common mistake that comes out of students using a calculator to simplify is under the square root sign with the -4ac term. Many students accidentally use a + indstead of a - sign, or vice versa. Simplify as much in your head as possible, and only use the calculator in the final steps. When in doubt, write out every single step along the way.

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