Completing the Square


Completing the Square


To solve ax2+ bx + c = 0 (a ≠0) by completing the square, use these steps.


Step 1 Be sure the squared term has coefficient 1. If the coefficient of the squared term is some other nonzero number a, divide each side of the equation by a.


Step 2 Write the equation in correct form so that terms withvariables are on one side of the equals sign and the constant is on the other side.


Step 3 Square half the coefficient of the first-degree term.


Step 4 Add the square to each side.


Step 5 Factor the perfect square trinomial. One side should now be a perfect square trinomial. Factor it as the square of a binomial.

Simplify the other side.


Step 6 Solve the equation. Apply the square root property to complete the solution.

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