TASC Math Exam—Applying the Quadratic Formula

By Stuart Donnelly

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