# How to Solve a Quadratic Equation When It Won’t Factor

When asked to solve a quadratic equation that* *you just can’t seem to factor (or that just doesn’t factor), you have to employ other ways of solving the equation, such as by using the quadratic formula. The *quadratic formula** *is the formula used to solve for the variable in a quadratic equation in standard form.

Given a quadratic equation in standard form *ax*^{2} + *bx* + *c* = 0,

Before you apply the formula, it’s a good idea to rewrite the equation in standard form (if it isn’t already) and figure out the *a, b,* and *c* values.

For example, to solve *x*^{2} – 3*x* + 1 = 0, you first say that *a* = 1, *b* = –3, and *c* = 1. The *a, b,* and *c* terms simply plug into the formula to give you the values for *x*:

Simplify this formula one time to get

Simplify further to get your final answer, which is two *x* values (the *x*-intercepts):