If you run across a quadratic question on the TASC Math exam, you may be able to solve it with the quadratic formula. The quadratic formula is useful for solving quadratic equations and providing a solution for all quadratics.

The quadratic formula looks like this:


This will provide two solutions (notice the + and – signs in front of the radical). This formula may also give you answers that are irrational or complex (numbers that contain an imaginary part).

To solve using the quadratic formula, follow these steps:

  1. Be sure the equation is in standard form, ax2 + bx + c = 0. In this form, all terms are on one side of the equal sign, the equation equals 0, and the terms are in descending order.
  2. Identify a, b, and c.
  3. Substitute these values into the quadratic formula.
  4. Simplify the resulting equation (be sure to follow order of operations).

Practice questions

  1. Solve 6x2 + x – 2 = 0
  2. Solve x2 – 10x + 34 = 0

Answers and explanations

  1. The solutions are
  2. The solutions are

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Stuart Donnelly, PhD, earned his doctorate in mathematics from Oxford University at the age of 25. Since then, he has established successful tutoring services in both Hong Kong and the United States and is considered by leading educators to be one of the most experienced and qualified private tutors in the country. Nicole Hersey, PhD, is a lecturer at the University of Rhode Island, with a dual appointment to the School of Education and the Department of Mathematics. Ron Olson, MA, is an NBCT-certified teacher in Social Studies who teaches AP Government, Civics, and Contemporary World Problems at Clover Park High School in Lakewood, WA. In addition to his 35 years of teaching experience, he works as an AP US History workshop consultant for The College Board and has been the advisor for National Honor Society at his high school. Shannon Reed, MA, MFA, is a visiting lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches composition, creative writing, and business writing.

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